Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeOpinionDiaryCommuting in Mumbai's local trains a herculean task

Commuting in Mumbai’s local trains a herculean task

Whenever I try to board the local trains I notice commuters trying to get inside the compartment by hook or crook. Many of them don’t even allow the passengers to alight at the station and try to enter the coach in a hurry. If commuters take time to step out of the compartment they start shouting and ask them to vacate the train fast. They also ask them to form a single line and alight from the train from one side which would enable them to enter the coach easily. Many of them enter the coach even before the passengers alight from the train inviting their ire. These people are in a hurry to enter the compartment as they want to catch the window seat a seat which everyone craves to occupy.

The window seat is considered as one of the lucrative one to occupy as it gives the passenger a better view of the outside and surrounding areas. It provides a fresh air for them to breathe while travelling in an overcrowded compartment. Trains are overcrowded in the city during peak hours in the morning from 7 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm in the evening. Often there are groups of commuters travelling in every compartment as one among them enter the coach and catch the seat for his companions. If any other person tries to occupy the seat then they start threatening them. Since the person is travelling alone hence he is unable to give them a fitting reply.

Many times they bring some snacks like vada pav, samosas for their fellow passengers and they share them. While some others play cards in the trains and thereby don’t allow others to stand near them by blocking the entire space. Then there is also a competition to occupy the fourth seat. Even though the fourth seat offers lesser comfort to passengers but they still manage to sit there as they have to cover a long distance. But then the person occupying the fourth seat hardly gets any space as the remaining three passengers don’t offer any space to him as they are unwilling to move. Even if the person asks them to shift they are reluctant to do so by saying that there is lack of space. They may also say how much more I can shift do you want me to push towards the window.

Many passengers commute on the footboard or stand near the doors of local trains even though they don’t have to alight at the approaching station. By doing so they only try to create problems for others who have to get down at the station. Even if seats remain vacant in the train they seldom occupy them and choose to stand near the door. As a result of this, the person who wants to alight is unable to do so and many times get stuck inside the train as other commuters standing on the platform try to enter the train. Many of them try to push each other and make way for themselves. Thus travelling in a local train is a gruesome task especially during peak hours as commuters have to undergo various hardships to reach their offices.

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