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Government mulling change in office timings to reduce crowding in local trains

The Maharashtra government is considering change in office timings to reduce peak hour crowding in suburban local trains which is resulting in many commuter deaths, the Bombay High Court was informed.

local trainsA division bench of Justices N H Patil and A A Sayed was hearing a public interest litigation regarding safety of commuters, facilities provided to them and reservation of seats for senior citizens in local trains.

The court had on earlier hearings suggested that office timings be changed from the usual 10 am to 5 pm. “What if some department begins work after 11 am? Some offices can work on weekends and have holidays on weekdays,” the court had said.

Government lawyer P P Kakade told the court that the suggestions made were feasible and that the government was seriously considering the same. “Half hour change in office timings is being considered. The principal secretaries of every department have been asked to look into the same and give their suggestions,” Kakade told the court.

On the issue of provision of basic facilities like clean toilets and drinking water, the court said if the railway authorities are not in a position to provide and maintain the facilities then they can outsource it.

“Let the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) do it. Let them (BMC) take over the task of providing these facilities in railway platforms,” the court said.

“We have time and again asked the Railways to do something but till date nothing has been shown to us. Only discussions are done, no action. A commuter just wants clean toilets and drinking water,” the court said.

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