Mumbaiites in general and Navi Mumbaikars had a bitter experience as they were stranded as fire bring Central Railway to a halt. And the repercussion disrupted other routes including Harbour Line. Three passengers were killed and 20 injured when the signal pole hit the leaning passengers near Bhandup. On the following day couple of passengers fell down from the train in the same route. So, the casualties go on increasing inconveniencing passengers. The commuting problem in Mumbai is of permanent nature and people travelling through local train by Harbour Line find it very difficult to reach work place through these trains as the 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. Main problem for commuting people is the high amount of toll paid at the Nakas, which in turn made the travelling more costly. People think twice before taking out three and four wheelers on holidays and other working days. To add salt to the wound Mega Block on Sundays disrupt the movement of people from Navi Mumbai to Mumbai and vice-versa. 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 to depend on cars. Use of public transportation saves time and reduce the cost for travelling in the best way possible.
To think in terms of easing out the commuter problems, the concerned authorities can allot permits to taxis and autos to ply within the city and if needed cross the toll Naka limit and go up to Mankhurd, Govandi and Chembur to help ease out the transport system. Travelling has become highly costly if you use your own vehicle. It is the duty of the authorities to plan public transportation system in accordance with the increase in population of the city. It will take at least a couple of years to bring Metro on the track and till that time granting permits liberally will help out the travelling public to a great extent. In Delhi we can share Auto( FUT FUT) and Mini Buses plying from one corner to another corner of the city. The fare in the sharing system is nominal and people can enjoy better comfort as well comparing to overcrowded trains. In Chennai as well we have share auto system from point to point and people would like to travel by this mode to avoid rush in the bus. Harbour line passengers were neglected and require better comfort level as Navi Mumbai is developing like anything and going beyond Panvel also. More and more trains with 12 bogies should be included in this route to avoid peak hour rush and avoid accidents. Shuttle service 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 short routes will divert major crowd which will ease the woes of long distance commuters. It is time to improve Harbour line service which is my clarion call.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)