Crossing railway tracks at level crossings might be one of the easiest ways to go between East and West for motorists. But this affects lakhs of train commuters every day, as at least 105 train services get delayed on all lines simply because vehicles use these level crossings.
Commuters and a cycle rider at the level crossing at Jogeshwari. There are delays on all three lines every day because of these crossings being opened. File pic
This may soon stop as on Saturday, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that level crossings will be shut to enable smooth transport of both local trains and vehicles on road.
“An MoU has been signed with the Ministry of Road Transport earlier this November for constructing Road Over/Under Bridges wherever possible, and shut the level crossings,” said Prabhu. This has been a long pending demand of both Central and Western Railways, especially for the suburban section.
Presently there are three level crossings Bandra, Jogeshwari, Goregaon on the Western Railway (WR) five level crossings at Kurla, Diva, Thakurli, Kalwa and Ambivli on the Main line and one at Chunabhatti on the Harbour line, on Central Railway (CR). On an average, these crossings open at least 40 times a day for a period of 2 minutes or so.
“The problem is persistent on our line where the road traffic authorities are allowing vehicular movement even during peak hours. We will be talking to them to bar this movement,” said a senior CR official. At least 75 services are either delayed or cancelled due to level crossings every day on CR.
The situation on WR is a bit easier, as they don’t open level crossings during morning and evening peak hours. “On an average, at least 30 services get affected every day due to level crossings,” said a senior WR official. The WR and BMC are discussing the minute details of two ROBs, both to be built between Jogeshwari and Malad stations.
Prabhu has also said that a new coordination committee comprising members of government agencies will be formed and monitored by the chief minister, which will meet every month or so. “All authorities from different agencies will come together to resolve local issues. We will review its development once in three months,” added Prabhu.