Suburban rail service of the Central Railway was disrupted on Friday as commuters protested at Diva station and started blocking trains and pelted stones at vehicles. It is necessary to trace these miscreants and take stringent action against them for damaging the public property. The accused responsible for assaulting the motormen must be traced and brought to book. The district administration must conduct a thorough check of the character of Diva residents and their antecedents.
For several years, the Railways were controlled by coalition partners at the centre and Railway ministers failed to pay attention towards the problems faced by suburban Mumbai rail commuters. They indulged in politics of populism by failing to raise the railway fares and did not take steps to eliminate corruption prevailing in the Railway Board. Things are looking better after Suresh Prabhu has been appointed as the Railway Minister. He is a educated and talented person and we must assist him.
When the railway services were disrupted, I was present at King Circle station at 1130 am. The ticket booking clerk had informed commuters about the breakdown in rail services and hence asked them to cancel their journey plans. Later, I had to board a bus from Gandhi Market. After reaching CST at 2 pm, I saw that people had become calm even though trains were running behind schedule. I boarded the Bandra train which left about half an hour late. On the adjoining platform no driver was present in the cabin of the train. I inquired with two lady constables about the destination of the train as they replied that it was a Titwala local.
The police must undertake an extensive combing operation at Diva for identifying the trouble makers. They expect the railway services to improve but don’t think about their duties. For instance, nobody is saying, please take steps towards controlling the rising population. I remember about a picture published in a foreign newspaper where a person was stuck between the platform and the coach as passengers tilted the coach to rescue the victim. Moreover, a monkey rescued another monkey who had fallen unconscious after receiving an electric shock.
Our citizens must remain vigilant, helpful, maintain calm, look for alternatives and even push the Railways to carry out maintenance but they should not obstruct the movement of trains. They should refrain from vandalising the Railway property and assaulting the motormen who are not responsible for the service breakdown. If motormen are assaulted then they might go on strike. Persons indulging in anti-social activities must be traced and strict action must be taken against them.