Even though commuters have protested against late running of trains many times but railways have failed to resolve this issue.
Instead of improving punctuality of suburban trains railways have tried to pass the buck by mentioning about the involvement of anti-social hands in the protests that took place at Badlapur railway station. Amitabh Ojha Divisional Railway Manager, Central Railways has alleged that some anti-social elements were involved in the protest. Ojha had visited Badlapur station to take stock of the situation and said, “Cops had to intervene for restoring law and order at Badlapur station. There were three groups of protestors and their demands too were different from each other. We tried to pacify them by saying that the railways will look into this matter and resolve the issue at the earliest.
“We also have arranged a meeting on 19th August where we will be hearing the complaints of commuters,” he added.
The agitation which had begun at 5.30 am was called off after 10 am. The first local ran between Badlapur towards CST and Karjat at 11 am. Thus commuters had disrupted the railway traffic for six hours as many outstation trains’s route had to be diverted while many others were delayed. Some local train services remained suspended due to the agitation.
A K Sing, public relation officer for central railways, said, “A Karjat bound local reached Badlapur station around 5.45am, 20 minutes later schedule. It was stuck at a signal at a level crossing near Bhivpuri station. There was no technical snag. However the commuters at Badlapur station halted the train and refuse to let it go as the agitation intensified.”
Ravi Kumar a Badlapur resident said, “We are fed up due to late running of suburban trains. Last year too similar agitation was held at Diva railway station. I think the railways have failed to learn its lessons. Railways have turned a blind eye towards the problems faced by commuters residing in far flung suburbs like Diva, Dombivali, Badlapur, Kalyan. Many deaths have occurred as commuters have fallen on railway tracks while commuting in overcrowded trains.”
Earlier passengers had to face severe hardships when suburban trains were halted on the Karjat-CST corridor due to agitation at Badlapur station. Angry commuters climbed on the trains while many others stood on railway tracks to protest against delay of train services. The enraged commuters barged into the station master’s office and demanded immediate action to resolve the issue.
The disruption caused heavy inconvenience to office goers during morning. Later, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu directed authorities to sort out the problems of passengers in Badlapur.
This is not the first instance when suburban services have been disrupted. Often trains get delayed during monsoon season as many times waterlogging is witnessed on railway tracks. Even though commuters have protested against late running of trains but railways have failed to resolve this issue and has said that overcrowding is putting a severe burden on the city’s rail network.