The Railway Board gave this seemingly far-fetched assurance yesterday, while promising better operations, punctuality and efficacy for Mumbai commuters, all this within just a fortnight
With a barrage of malfunctions slowing down the Central Railway of late, an assurance from railway authorities to haul up the services in a manner ‘never seen before’ should come as nourishment to the weary commuter but only if effected into reality.
Hapless commuters can’t do much but sigh at the delays that regularly haunt CR services. File pic
Yesterday, D Pande, member (traffic) of the Railway Board, said that they are taking such measures that Mumbaikars will see the difference in the next fortnight itself. “We have identified the problems and started the improvement works on Central Railway.
Within 15 days you will see an overall improvement like you never imagined,” said Pande, one among the senior Indian Railway officials who is in charge of train operations across the country. On November 22, this paper had reported about a knot of issues thwarting rail operations (‘Nightmare on Central Railway to continue as power upgradation delayed’).
Over the last few days, some or the other glitch has buffeted the CR network. Even yesterday, there were operational issues during afternoon hours, on account of an anomaly that occurred outside city limits. Before that, late on Wednesday night, the locomotive of Siddeshwar Express suffered a technical failure and was stranded at Vikhroli station.
Sources within CR said that Pande gave stick to the officials here over the poor functioning, multiple failures and non-punctuality of services. “At many stretches on the Kalyan-Thane route, maintenance work had remained an issue, which has taken a toll now,” said a CR official.
Pande said that over the last few days, significant work has been carried out and that weekly deadlines have been set to finish the work. Moreover, there is daily monitoring and impact assessment of the procedures carried out on a given day.
While November 30 is the deadline for completing major works on the Kalyan-Thane corridor, several smaller yet vital mechanisms would also be scrutinised minutely, namely improvement in signalling system, staff alertness, punctuality and other tangible outputs.
The foremost issue of power conversion from 1,500-volt direct current to 25,000-volt alternating current will, however, continue to hound Central Railway for another six months. “There are height clearance issues with a couple of railway and foot over-bridges that are being looked into,” said Pande.
Recently, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had said that by the end of next month, the railways would try to work out the options to get all requisite permits to expedite the voltage conversion.