Fairy world! Top rail babu says all Mumbai trains new, city commuters' complaints untrue!
Railway Board Member, Rolling Stock, says all suburban trains are new and well-maintained, harbour line has improved and stations are clean, contrary to commuters' constant complaints
It seemed as if Railway Board Member Rolling Stock, Rajesh Agrawal, was in an ideal, fairy railway land on his Mumbai visit on Wednesday. Contrary to complaints of commuters, he declared at a press conference what could only be in his land of make believe, that all suburban trains in Mumbai, including those on harbour line, were new and well-maintained, the harbour line had improved, and stations were spic and span.
He also said there was no shortage of new trains. This is exactly the opposite of what commuters have been complaining about. While the harbour line has a few sets of old trains, the trans-harbour line has all old trains.
Railway Board Member, Rolling Stock, Rajesh Agrawal (centre) at the press conference
'Complaints probably false'
"The complaints of Mumbai commuters obviously do not seem to be true. I have been a Mumbai boy and have come here after a long time and find a lot of change. Trains are new, the harbour line has improved, and the stations are spic and span. For the first time, Indian Railways has exceeded production target and manufactured 6,000 plus coaches," he said.
Local railway officials also seemed disconnected with train operations. Asked why basic things are ignored, like there are no announcements when a train gets stranded, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) SK Jain said trains were equipped to make announcements, but he did not know why they were not made and would find out why. As disconnected as they were, Agrawal and Jain later got into a local at Vidyavihar and found it too crowded, as it was Eid and there was a holiday timetable in place.
'That's not reality'
Passenger associations lambasted Agrawal saying either he was being given the wrong picture, or was just toeing the government's line of painting a rosy picture of everything. "There are trains running beyond their expiry and codal life on the harbour line. It is not right that such a high-profile person does not look at the realities of harbour and trans-harbour commuters. Railway babus tell him something, tidy up things, and he thinks that is reality," passenger association member Subhash Gupta said.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Angry commuters tear out window from Madgaon-Mumbai AC train