Konkan Railway passengers to sit on one-day hunger strike, here's why

Published: Jan 22, 2020, 16:21 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

A delegation will meet Konkan Railway representatives on January 23 with the demands.

This image has been used for representational purposes only.
This image has been used for representational purposes only.

Mumbaikars who frequently use Konkan Railway have threatened to protest outside the Belapur head office on January 26, Republic Day, and stage a one-day hunger strike to press their demands which include: north-south bound trains passing through the Konkan region should have minimum three halts in every district, popular trains should have more halts like Janshatabdi at Vaibhavwadi, among other demands.

A delegation will meet Konkan Railway representatives on January 23 with the demands. Earlier this months, passengers said the main problem was lack of connectivity from the western suburbs to the Konkan Railway, especially the Virar-Vasai belt, as all those passengers have to come to Dadar or other Central Railway stations to board Konkan Railway trains.

Activist DK Sawant, who is spearheading the agitation, told mid-day that in addition to this inconvenience, they listed out specific demands and among them were that all north-south bound trains passing through the Konkan region should have minimum three halts in each district and stations like Khed, Rajapur, Vaibhavwadi, Kankavli, Kudal and Sawantwadi.

Also, popular trains should have more halts like Janshatabdi at Vaibhavwadi, tweaking Garib Rath timetable and giving it a halt at Khed, diverting Pune-Ernakulum Express via Karjat-Panvel, a daily Mumbai-Sawantwadi passenger train and several others.

Other administrative demands include shifting of Konkan Railway headquarters in the Konkan region along the line, having a more effective Marathi interface to the Konkan Railway website and merging of Konkan Railway into Indian Railways as a zone.

Another activist Yeshwant Jadyar said there was a population of more than 50 lakh Konkan residents in and around Mumbai, and many demands had been pending for a while. The delegation also met former railway minister and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik to convey their demands. A Konkan Railway spokesperson said the railways will look into the demands and take them up at an appropriate level.

Sources said Konkan Railway is already facing intense traffic and any additional halts or services will disturb the entire system. The project to upgrade Konkan Railway by electrification and doubling is currently underway and this will eventually pave way for more services and amenities.

Releasing a statement on the occasion of the 29th Foundation Day of Konkan Railway on October 15, a note had stated that the electrification of entire Konkan Railway route is in progress and will be completed by March 2021 with the estimated cost of  Rs 1,100 crore.

On the status of doubling Konkan Railway, officials said, the line doubling of the 46 km stretch between Roha – Veer section is in progress and will be completed by March 2020. The work of construction of 10 new stations namely Indapur, Goregoan Road, Sape Wamane, Kalbani, Kadwai, Verawali, Kharepatan, Achirne, Mirjan, Innanje and eight loop lines is also in progress and likely to be completed by March 2020. Out of which, five additional loop lines at  Anjani, Sawarda, Rajapur Road, Vaibhavwadi Road and Murdeshwar station are already commissioned. 

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