Irked with a daily 36-minute time gap between two departing local trains, furious male commuters are up in arms against the Vashi-Thane ladies’ special train that is causing the hindrance for them at Vashi railway station.
Male passengers travelling from Vashi to Thane say that day after day chaos prevails between 5.25 pm and 6.01 pm at platform no 1 and 2 at Vashi railway station, as male passengers heading towards Thane have to wait for over half an hour till the next train arrives. The reason for this long wait is nothing but the 5.42 pm ladies special train which is run especially for the convenience of women commuters. Moreover, they are inconvenienced as the next train that arrives is usually packed to capacity.
Although most men clearly state that they have no issue with the railways running a train for the benefit of lady passengers, their problem is the long wait they have to endure at the platform because of it.
Trouble mainly persists for those commuters taking the train from Vashi and Sanpada railway stations as from Turbhe onwards one can even board locals that originate from Panvel, Belapur and Nerul.
Basavraj Baluri, who commutes to his residence in Ambernath via Thane from Vashi, and hence is required to board a Thane-Vashi local train, was recently seen complaining to the Vashi stationmaster who asked him to express his grievance by drafting a letter to railway authorities. “This was just one of the days that I was traveling via this route and faced this kind of inconvenience. Since, I would have to soon travel regularly via this route because of my professional commitments, I am planning to submit a letter requesting the Railways to at least reserve two compartments for gents so that we do not have to wait and waste our time like this,” said Baluri.
A few young boys who travel on this route opine that in case they miss the 5.24 pm train, the chances of them reaching late to their destination is quite high. Koperkhairane resident Ranjit Sinha, who works in Sanpada, said, “I do not understand the need of plying a ladies special train on this route considering the crowd here is nothing as compared to the Western and Central lines.”
Considering there are no fast trains that run on this route, commuters say that they have no option but to remain patient and wait for the next train. “One has to keep some time spare while traveling on this stretch because the frequency of trains is extremely poor,” said Kalyan resident Shiva Prasad (20), a daily commuter who boards the train from Sanpada station.
AK Singh, PRO, Central Railways, said that till now they had not received any complaints as such. However, when asked if they would designate two compartments for gents, he said, “There is no question of it at all, considering it’s a ladies’ special train. Till now we have not received any official complaints from commuters. We would look into the matter if required.”