Mumbai: Commuter bodies ramp up efforts to open local trains
While one organisation staged protest at Diva station, another chose to submit a detailed revival plan, even as rail officials say they are waiting for state nod
People want Mumbai local trains to be reopened for all, and commuters' organisations are trying their own ways to get this done fast. While one commuter organisation staged a protest near the railway station at Diva on Wednesday, another said they preferred to submit a revival plan, as they believed that the need was to handle the situation more carefully and stand with the authorities rather than holding thoughtless agitations.
Local trains must begin for the public at once and the government of India should do it as soon as possible. Many people have lost jobs and it is high time that services are re-started. Offices have opened and all other transport modes like BEST and MSRTC buses, autos and taxis have begun. There have been repeated requests from many quarters and since the demand was not fulfilled, we had to take to the protest mode," Nandkumar Deshmukh, president of Federation of Suburban Passengers Association said, submitting a petition with a 14-point demand to the railways, besides resuming suburban services. Other demands include additional services, converting Vangani station into a terminus, more trains from Diva and a new station in the Kalyan-Kasara section.
"Over the past three to four years, we have given more than 200 letters to the railways with various demands and complaints, and it is a matter of shame that not even a single one was acknowledged," Deshmukh added.
'No thoughtless protests'
The Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, another active rail body, said that the decision to resume local train operation for the general public rests with government in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our association met the Governor of Maharashtra and gave him a plan on the revival of local trains and how it can be done in a scientific manner. The railways should take up the plan and discuss it further," Siddhesh Desai vice-president of the Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, said.
The Federation of Suburban Passengers Association protested at Diva station because despite repeated requests for allowing everyone on trains, the demand was not met
"There is no point in doing thoughtless protests like these outside railway stations, when everyone is waiting for a call on this issue from the Maharashtra government. Even if it was popular demand to build up pressure to restart local trains for everyone, we believe that passenger associations should stand firmly
with the railways and not against them," Desai added.
A delegation of Mumbai
Rail Pravasi Sangh had presented a petition to Maharashtra Governor, 'Unlock Mumbai Local' with a number of suggestions in August 2020.
Railway officials said that there was no response from the Maharashtra government yet on the issue.
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