Irked commuters stage rail roko to highlight bad platform conditions

CST-bound trains scheduled to arrive on Belapur station’s platform three had to stop for over 10 minutes around 1 pm on Tuesday even though there was no technical glitch.

Making a point: A group of people, including MP Sanjeev Naik, blocked CST-bound trains at Belapur station

Reason? A crowd of people, that included Member of Parliament Dr Sanjeev Naik, was standing on the track to protest the continuously deteriorating condition of platforms in Navi Mumbai.

“Stations in Navi Mumbai were constructed somewhere in the 1990s by the City and Industrial Developmental Corporation (CIDCO). However, for the last three-four years, they have stopped proper maintenance of the stations,” said Naik.

Around 10 days ago, Naik received a complaint that a female passenger had slipped due to rainwater that had collected on the platform while she was trying to board a train. The platform was wet since the ceiling was leaking. Naik then called up CIDCO to set up a meeting.

CIDCO officials informed Naik that the maintenance could be passed on to the railways as long as they were willing to take up the job. To that, the Central Railway authorities replied that they would do it as long as CIDCO paid them the necessary amount, estimated to be over Rs 15 crore.

However, sources indicate that the estimate supplied is for initial maintenance as overall costs could amount to Rs 50 crore. Naik said, “I was more than ready to help the citizens. I let them know that I will be a part of the ‘rail roko’ movement.”

Earlier that day, Naik received a call informing him that the movement was to take place in the morning. However, he requested the people to carry it out at noon since fewer travellers would be affected at that time. Former standing committee chairman J K Nath said, “The stations here are supposed to be maintained by CIDCO.

However, you can clearly spot the leaks in the ceiling, and the stations are really dirty.  It is high time something is done about it.”  Atul Rane, chief public relations officer, Central Railway, said, “The process of handing over the maintenance of  stations in Navi Mumbai has started and it will be done in due course. Revenue sources from the stations will be taken over by the Central Railwas.”

Revenue CIDCO earned through railways:
Fiscal       Surcharge
2012-13   Rs 40 crore
2011-12   Rs 34 crore  

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