Potful of public transport woes on dahi handi day

As thousands of govindas took over the roads of the city yesterday, flitting from mandal to mandal in trucks, cars and bikes to break dahi handis, other people had a tough time finding public transport on the government holiday.

People found fewer local trains, BEST buses, taxis and autorickshaws operating because of the occasion.

Overcrowded locals
Overcrowding was experienced on both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), as railway sources said there was a drop of 30 per cent in services.

“Normally on Sundays and public holidays, we run 30 per cent fewer services,” a WR official said on condition of anonymity.

While WR spokesperson Nitin David maintained services were operating at full strength, CR spokesperson AK Singh confirmed the 30 per cent drop in services on the Central line. On CR, commuters had to wait 7-10 minutes between two trains.

WR runs about 1,250 services on regular days, the CR 1,573.

BEST cuts services
BEST, which has a 4700-strong fleet that covers over 6 lakh kilometres on a regular day, also reduced its services.

“We ran 3,295 bus services as it was a public holiday,” BEST Undertaking spokesperson M Varhade said.

Many people who kept their cars at home because of the dahi handi crowds had to wait a long time at bus stops. “Public transport is a better idea than taking out your car on the overcrowded roads,” Dadar resident Mehul Shah said.

50% cabs off roads
Of the 42,000 taxis in the city, over 50 per cent did not operate. “Till 10 am, taxis were available, but later, as the crowds began to swell, many drivers parked their taxis,” Mumbai Taximen’s Union general secretary A Quadros said.

“The suburbs saw 40 per cent of the 1.04 lakh three-wheelers keeping off the roads,” said Shashank Rao of the Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union. 

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