Mumbai: Last Churchgate-Dahanu local leaves nurses in a lurch

Fifty nurses and medical staff of five hospitals in Kandivli and Borivli sent a plea to the Western Railway yesterday to either reschedule the timing of the last Churchgate-Dahanu local

The medical staff from Bhagwati Municipal General Hospital in Borivli West are among those seeking a change in train timing. Pic/Sameer Markande
The medical staff from Bhagwati Municipal General Hospital in Borivli West are among those seeking a change in train timing. Pic/Sameer Markande

The caregivers want the railways to spare a thought for them. Fifty nurses and medical staff of five hospitals in Kandivli and Borivli sent a plea to the Western Railway yesterday to either reschedule the timing of the last Churchgate-Dahanu local or add another service on the route.

The last local on this route leaves Churchgate at 8.27 pm and reaches Borivli station at 9.13 pm. The medical staffers - from Kasturba, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagwati, KCL Bhansali Municipal and ESIC hospitals in Kandivli and Borivli - take this train to get home.

The last Churchgate-Dahanu local reaches Virar at 9.44 pm and Dahanu at 11.05 pm. The last MEMU train starts from Virar at 10.55 pm and reaches Dahanu at 12.11 pm. One of the nurses complained that although their shift ends at 8.30 pm, they are unable to leave before 9.30 pm, thereby missing the last train.

Nurses and other medical staff at BMC-run and state-run hospitals work 40 hours a week in three shifts: 8 pm-7 am, 6 am-1.30 pm and 1 pm-8.30 pm. But by the time they hand over charge and the schedule charts to the next batch, it's 9.30 pm.

Fending for themselves
In their letter, the 50 staffers said they are forced to take the bus or the autorickshaw to get back home. Some of them have to rely on family members to pick them up. By the time they get to their homes on the 60-km Virar-Dahanu stretch, it's close to 12.30 am. They asked the Western Railway to push back the timing of the last train or start another service that arrives at Borivli station around 9.45 pm.

Ramling Mali, president of Maharashtra Nursing Council, said the commute and work hours cumulatively take a toll on the medical staff's lives. "The railways ferries lakhs of people. So, it will be difficult for them to change the train timings for a few staffers. The hospitals should understand this problem and plan their work charts accordingly."

Western Railway officials said they receive several requests to amend, add or change train timings every day. "We are working on a new timetable. It will be out in a few days. We are trying to accommodate whatever is possible," said an official.

Nearly 80,000 commuters from the Virar-Dahanu belt – there are seven stations in between - take the local trains (starting at Churchgate, Dadar and Borivli stations) and mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) services (starting at Virar).

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