Mumbai: MNS workers threaten local bharo andolan

Updated: 21 September, 2020 07:30 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

They want services to be opened up for common man; protests focused in MMR

People insist on boarding trains at Nalasopara station on July 22 in the first protest by commuters
People insist on boarding trains at Nalasopara station on July 22 in the first protest by commuters

Warning the Maharashtra government to understand the commuting problems of the common man who is currently barred on local trains, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) members have threatened to board local trains on Monday morning to support the demand of opening up suburban trains for everyone.

The protests are largely focused on the extended suburbs in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) of Dombivli, Palghar, Kalyan, Virar, Vasai, etc. "We will take the local train in the morning. The protest will begin at Dombivli station at 9 am," said MNS Dombivli president Rajesh Kadam, adding that the city and railway police had issued them notices for announcing the protests.

Also read: COVID-19: Central Railway worst-hit across Indian Railways

Citizens blamed the Maharashtra government for imbalance in the situation, as in the recent Unlock-4 process, it has allowed a higher percentage of private offices to be opened up, but not enough public transport, local trains or Metro, leading to daily commuting issues.

Commuters speak

Commuter Akshay Pevekar started a tweet storm seeking restoration of local trains for the common man. He said it took about three hours to commute to work every day from Dombivli to Mumbai.

Commuters also protested at the Borivli railway station on the night of September 5
Commuters also protested at the Borivli railway station on the night of September 5

"If there is traffic, the journey time exceeds four hours. The same amount of time goes into the return journey which means we are losing eight hours every day on just transport," he said.

Another commuter, Aniket Sharma, said Mumbai is incomplete without the local train. "Please restart for common people. Many people live in Vasai, Virar and their offices are located in CSMT and nearby areas," he added.

Rlys to increase services

The Railways appealed to political parties not to crowd at stations, saying additional services for essential category commuters are being added as per needs and demands. While Western Railway has raised their suburban services for essential category to 500, Central Railway in Mumbai that is at present running 355 services, may announce additional services for the essential category this week, subject to approvals from the Maharashtra government.

It may be recalled that office goers had mobbed railway stations earlier on three occasions. The latest incident was at Virar railway station on September 7 morning with crowds seeking permission to travel on local trains after buses were delayed for a long time. The same scenario took place at Borivli station on September 5 night and at Nallasopara station on July 22.

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First Published: 21 September, 2020 07:08 IST

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