Central Railway has made elaborate arrangements to deal with the rush on account of Maratha Kranti Morcha (Pic/Yogesh Chavan)
Thousands of protesters, who participated in the Maratha Kranti Morcha, came from various parts of Maharashtra and took local trains on the Western and Central lines. Since most of them came from different parts of the state there were more of them in CR rather than WR.
According to DNA, trains running towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) were filled with supporters during the morning hours, who boarded general and first class compartments. Some had tickets, while others travelled ticketless.
The railway police staff and some local commuters ensured there weren't any untoward incidents as most of them, who attempted to board the first class women's compartment, were stopped from doing so. Officials felt most people hailing from different areas of the state would be unaware regarding specially reserved compartments for women.
CR officials say nearly 150 ticket checkers were deployed at CSMT, Byculla, Dadar, Kurla and Thane railway stations. But, TC's were unable to catch ticketless commuters due to the huge crowd.
Furthermore, several railway stations across Mumbai saw over 400 RPF personnel stationed, whose weekly offs were cancelled and working hours increased by 12 hours. Also, officials from other departments were positioned to monitor trains. CR authorities admitted to experiencing difficulties in the morning when protesters arrived at CST by rail with many alighting at Byculla station to join the march, which started from Rani Baug to Azad Maidan.
By afternoon 2 pm, eight services on CSMT-Panvel Harbour line and 16 services on CSMT-Kalyan route were operated by Central Railway (CR).
There was a sudden increase in the number of protesters, who arrived at CST station dancing, waving flags and shouting slogans. Most of them were returning home after the march. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced sops to the Maratha community around this same time.
23 extra sweepers were deployed by CR to clean up food pouches and other garbage on railway tracks, platforms and station premises at the CST railway station. There was a point failure between 5.10 pm and 5.37 pm, which affected train services in Kurla.
People from other parts of the state, who had participated in the protest, arrived to board long distance trains as the evening progressed. 7 long distance trains starting from CSMT, one each from Dadar and Kurla LTT, two additional general sleeper coaches and two special unreserved trains starting from CSMT to Solapur and Kolhapur were added.
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