Increase number of Metro coaches, Kirit Somaiya tells Devendra Fadnavis

Jul 03, 2018, 10:21 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

As mid-day report opens conversation on the need to increase number of coaches at least during rush hours MP petitions Fadnavis, who is also the MMRDA chairman

Increase number of Metro coaches, Kirit Somaiya tells Devendra Fadnavis
The Andheri-Ghatkopar route is among the busiest with a lot of offices, industrial units and the airport along the stretch. File Pic

Taking note of mid-day's front-page story on the increasing crowds on the Metro line between Versova and Ghatkopar, Dr Kirit Somaiya, MP from North-East Mumbai, has taken up the issue, seeking to convert the trains into six-coach ones.

On Monday, Dr Somaiya wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the chairman of MMRDA, making the demand.

Need more trains and coaches
"The Ghatkopar-Versova Metro is now overcrowded with 4 lakh passengers every day, and it is the only route connecting Central and Western Railway, saving one hour for commuters. There has been an increase in number of passengers by 14 per cent in the last four years ...it extra coaches, besides more trains," he wrote in the letter, a copy of which is with mid-day.

Dr Somaiya's letter to the chief minister says that during rush hours, the train carries 140 per cent more passengers
Dr Somaiya's letter to the chief minister says that during rush hours, the train carries 140 per cent more passengers

The letter adds that during rush hours, the train carries 140 per cent more passengers, and that there is a need to convert four-car trains into six-car ones, to take the passenger capacity from 1,178 to 1,792.

mid-day had highlighted on June 30 how Mumbai Metro One trains were getting crowded by the day, with transport experts commenting on how passengers were being crushed into a limited space per square metre during peak hours, stressing the urgency for the operator to convert the small four-car train into a six-coach one. The official Mumbai Metro One Twitter account had reacted to the story saying, "The same has been shared with the concerned team and your concern is being looked into."

Faster than expected growth
Opened on June 8, 2014, the 11-km Mumbai Metro One has witnessed immense growth. In fact, by their own admission, a note earlier this year said the growth rate has been faster than expected. Platforms and other related infrastructure is already equipped to handle six-car trains. The Metro has 12 stations and has reduced the travelling time from 90 minutes to 21.

Netizens react...
* Jitendra Bhavsar: No. of coaches should be eight but the company wants less wear and tear of rolling stock; hence, it is running four. Immediate step should to create two sets of trains — one with six coaches, another with eight.
* Akshay Marathe: It is much needed to increase the number of coaches from four to six.
* Ravinarayan Seshan: Thanks a lot for the report. For the past month or so, I have forgotten how it feels to sit inside a metro... Even comfortable standing is a luxury...
* Tassavur Shaikh: Understand that the original plan was to start with four coaches... after years of delay in launch and the overwhelming response it received, Mumbai Metro should have started plans to move to six coaches within two years of going live.
* Captain Pramod K Singh: It is becoming like a local train now. They should increase number of compartments from 4 to 6.

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