Mumbaiites in general and Navi Mumbaikars had a bitter experience as they were stranded due to derailment near Kurla Harbour line. The city’s lifeline came to a standstill for 14 hours and the commuters were pushed from pillar to post during this ordeal. As a matter of fact, it affects Harbour line from morning to evening and brought the movement of locals on this route to a halt. And the repercussion disrupted other routes as well. Trains running between Kurla-Panvel and Wadala-Andheri were badly affected and the commuters were stranded and there was no proper announcement about the accident or the resumption of train services in this route. The commuting problem in Mumbai is of permanent nature and people travelling through local train by Harbour Line find it very difficult to reach their work place as these trains are overcrowded most of the time. It is up to the State Government to give more permits to share taxis/Autos/ Mini buses to ply between the two local points to reduce the strain on travelling public.
On Sundays Harbour line commuters suffer because of mega block and the week-end shopping plan goes awry because of the disruption during the day time. Car-pooling can reduce the cost of petrol and the toll charges but if public transport system is available at your disposal then there is no need of depend on car or any other mode by paying high amount of fare. With the introduction of Air-conditioned buses travelling has become a pleasure but the services will have to be improved drastically. The duty of the authorities would be able to analyse the increase in population and there is a need to strengthen the public transport system. It will take at least a couple of years to bring Metro services on the track and till that time granting permits liberally will help commuters to a great extent. Shuttle services from Vashi to Kurla will ease out majority of the rush. But the platform at Kurla meant for this purpose is misused. Pressing more trains in shorter routes helps to divert major crowd and that will give more comfortable journey for the long distance passengers. It is time to improve Harbour line services.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)