Central Railway commuters may be feeling relieved as services are finally running on time after over a week of problems since a fire hit its signalling system and played havoc with the train schedule last month, but its officials are not a relaxed lot yet. It is time to face the Railway Board now.
The Railway Board has sent a letter to CR General Manager Subodh Jain asking him to submit the reason behind so many disturbances. The board has given the CR 15 days to repair everything and warned it against a repeat of all that has gone wrong since the fire on April 18. CR officials say there has been no respite for them since the GM received the letter from the Railway Board. The GM has called a meeting of senior officials from all departments and has told them to look after their departments with utmost seriousness. The GM has also warned that there should not be any disturbances as were seen in recent days.
A senior CR official said there would be a meeting this Saturday. “The GM has called a meeting of all HoDs and we have been told about the Railway Board’s unhappiness with the performance of the CR. The Railway Board apparently called up the GM and told him to give an explanation for all incidents that have taken place in recent weeks,” the official said. “Also, he has been told that there should not be any such incidents after this as it gives the CR a bad image.”
CR officials are also very scared for themselves as a senior official from the electrical department was shunted though the transfer was not due yet, and this has left many with the feeling that all this is being done just to show the media and the public that the railways is taking action. “He has been transferred though his transfer was not due and this has made us scared. We are all concentrating on our areas. This is being done on a regular basis to show the media and the public that the Railway Board is monitoring everything and also taking action,” an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
After the letter from the Railway Board, each and every signal wire is being checked and getting repaired in case of any problems. Many signal cables have been found lying in open gutters and corrective measures have followed. Scared officials are now wracking their brains to see if they have overlooked anything that might lead to similar disruptions taking place in future. In the letter sent by the Railway Board from Delhi, it is mentioned that the CR has 15 days to put everything back in order and ensure trains run smoothly.
CR General Manager Jain said receiving a Railway Board letter was not something out of the ordinary when a major problem occurs anywhere and everything was being done to comply with the instructions it contained. “Yes, the Railways has sent a letter and it is mentioned that the problems should be taken care of in 15 days. It’s a routine thing for a letter to be sent to all the railways where such major incidents take place. We are doing our best to restore and maintain everything and to run the trains smoothly,” Jain said.
Number of commuters Central Railway caters to everyday, including those on the Harbour and Trans-Harbour sections.
Streak of unfortunate happenings
>> IT all started with the fire at a signal cabin in Kurla that resulted in major train delays on the Central Railway for the next many days as broken-down signalling systems took time to be restored.
>> Then followed a couple of incidents that resulted in loss of life and injury to commuters. In the Mulund-Nahur stretch, three commuters were killed and 34 injured after colliding with a signal pole contraption that was twisted out of position. The very next day two commuters were seriously injured as they collided with each other while leaning out of their respective trains.
>> As if this were not enough, commuters resorted to a flash rail roko at Vithalwadi and Ambernath to protest against wrong announcements.