Passenger associations are feeling left out of today’s inaugural event for Dahanu local train services, to be flagged off by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Western Railway (WR) authorities have apparently not extended a formal invitation to the commuter associations, which has caused them distress.
Kailash Verma, general secretary of Mumbai Railway Passengers Association, said, “We will be going to Dahanu with all our members, though we have not been invited officially. We are working for passengers’ well-being and we don’t care about invitations. We will meet the minister personally to discuss our grievances, and demand more trains from the station.”
Bansal will flag off the first local from Dahanu Road to Churchgate at 10.10 am today. Starting today, WR will run 20 services between Churchgate and Dahanu Road from Tuesday. The locals will stop at all stations between Dahanu Road and Virar, and will thereafter run as fast locals till Churchgate. Nandu Pawgi, member of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, said, “This is a political stunt.
The authorities don’t want to call us for the inaugural function. Still, we will go and convey our point to the minister.” He added, “We have not been involved in any of their (WR’s) plans, not even in discussing the time-table.” Sandeep Silas, divisional railway manager of the Western Railway, said, “The CPRO (chief public relations officer) office is in charge of invitations.” Attempts to contact WR CPRO Sharat Chandrayan yielded no result. The Dahanu Road-Virar line will cater to some 80,000 passengers.
Training for Dahanu
The WR authorities will be running 15 new EMU (electrical multiple unit) trains on the Churchgate-Dahanu Road section. Two shuttle trains running between Dahanu Road and Borivli have been replaced by EMUs and extended up to Churchgate.
Two EMU services running between Dadar and Virar have been extended till Dahanu Road and one EMU services running between Churchgate and Virar has also been extended to Dahanu Road. Not only this, four MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Units) services which were running between Dahanu Road and Virar have been extended up to Dadar.
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