Commuters irked over new route for Pragati Express
Commuters are currently dubbing the Pragati Express a slow train after it began passing through Panvel, thereby involving a different route and two additional stops than earlier.
They now say that it has lost its ‘Super-fast’ status as the train arrives 15 to 30 minutes late everyday, which is creating problems for daily commuters.
The Pune railway division had decided to re-route the express on an experimental basis, following which it was designated to pass via Panvel on its route to the city. A month has passed since the experiment began and commuters are of the belief that the authorities are making it a permanent feature.
“Pragati and Deccan Queen Express are prime time trains for the working class. Earlier Pragati Express used to reach on time, but now it is 15 minutes late. Many commuters now avoid travelling by Pragati,” said Anukul Joshi, a finance professionals and regular commuter.
The express used to stop at Lonavala and Karjat earlier, but now stops at Panvel, Diva and Thane as well. The train regularly reached CST at 11.10 am, but not any more.
Commuter Vrushali Gayakwad said, “Sometimes it reaches between 11.45 am or 12 am. In the morning, most of the working class commuters want to go to Dadar or CST so this re-routing is of no use.”
Commuter groups claim that the railway division should first discuss the issue before taking any final decision. “The experiment did not get much response and only faced criticism from commuters. Without knowing the requirements of commuters, the railway has made this route permanent,” said Hemant Tapale, president, Pune-Mumbai Commuter’s Association.
Y K Singh, public relation officer, Pune Railway Division, said, “Recently we gathered information from the Mumbai division. Pragati is reaching on time and sometimes is late by no more than 10 minutes. This new route is benefiting commuters from Thane and Kalyan, including the Konkan region.”
>> Earlier Route: Pune-Lonavala-Karjat-Dadar-CST (two stops between Pune-Dadar)
>> New Route: Pune-Lonavala-Karjat-Panvel-Diva-Thane-Dadar-CST (four stops between Pune-Dadar)