Feeling the heat in local trains lately? Here's why
Air-cooling blowers were turned off by rail authorities prior to monsoons due to leaking rainwater, and haven't been switched on yet; passengers complain of poor ventilation and suffocation
If you are a regular commuter on the suburban rail network — CR and WR — and have been experiencing a sweltering commute lately, it’s because railway authorities have forgotten to direct car shed staff to switch on the air-cooling blowers inside compartments that were disconnected during the monsoons.
Rail authorities wanted to avoid the malfunctioning of blowers due to rainwater seepage during the rainy season, and had asked the technicians to disconnect the blowers. But, with temperatures inside coaches now coming to a boil, as the month of October is experiencing an unusual hot and humid climate, commuters are bearing the brunt.
Priya Hegde, a regular commuter from Kandivli to Charni Road, said, “It is really suffocating during peak hours, as the trains are crowded and the heat is unbearable. Why has this blower been fitted if it’s not being switched on?”
Every new Siemens rake is fitted with a ventilation system that has four blowers per coach, however these were disconnected before the monsoons this year, as rail officials realised that the rainwater seeping into the coaches was causing damage to the electric panel.
Another commuter Archana Pareek, who commutes between Andheri and Churchgate, and who had not figured out the reason for the high temperature during her journey, said, “Why don’t the railways reduce our ticket fares? Travelling on trains has become a nightmare these days. We have to use a paper to fan ourselves.”
everal commuters have even approached the stationmaster at railway stations complaining about the non-functional blowers, but to no avail.
“We have to follow the instructions given by our superiors, and hence we have turned off all the blowers from the new Siemens rakes,” said a staff from the car shed, on condition of anonymity.
When contacted, A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “We have switched on the blowers, and if they are not working in some rakes, then there must be a problem with the rake.”
Despite several attempts, there was no reply from WR officials.
Did you know?
As per a study carried out by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), earlier in the old coaches the carbon dioxide level ranged from 800 PPM to 2,450 PPM, but after fitting coaches with blowers, the carbon dioxide levels were recorded between 800 PPM and 1,450 PPM.