Commuters raise concerns over unfinished platform cover at most railway stations despite railway minister's personal promise to wrap up work in May
Repair work at many stations required the removal of roofs
Despite Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s promise about completing work on roofs at railway stations before the monsoon, the Central and Western Railways were caught unprepared on Monday night, with many commuters getting drenched due to the incomplete repairs. Angry commuters tweeted their displeasure to Goyal, while CR and WR officials claimed that the work will be completed soon.
The city experienced this season’s first showers over the past two days. For commuters taking the local trains, there was no respite from the rain, thanks to incomplete roof work on several stations.
Akshay Ranjan Singh, a commuter said, "This problem has persisted since the past two years, and yet there has been no action. Name a station and you have an example. Either the roof is missing or leaking. Commuters have been putting up several photos on social media to show the same. Since the local railways have not been responding, it is time the railway ministry steps in and takes over to monitor the situation."
While work is on at many stations to replace the existing asbestos sheets, gaps remain at many places. A senior official said this is happening because new infrastructure is being built at a number of stations which requires the removal of the roof. But replacing the roof seems to have been forgotten about at certain stations.
Narrating his experience at Kurla, commuter Deepak Joshi said, "On Tuesday night, harbour platforms at Kurla were leaking. The situation was the same on the western line at Grant Road and Mumbai Central stations, where new bridges are being built. Thane has been in a bad place for the past two years. The work is happening, but the pace is excruciatingly slow."
This has been the case at CSMT, too, where the roof has been missing on a vast stretch at the north end of the station for years. The case is similar at Bandra and Masjid Bunder stations.
(Top) Grant Road is among the stations that are partially roofless, Thane station has been in a bad place with roofs for the past two years
"Given the magnitude of work and pressure in Mumbai, besides the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), there are four additional DRMs. God knows what they do and perform. They are mostly inaccessible and are not authorized to speak to the press and public. Goyal is someone who can make them talk," said member of the Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, Subhash Gupta. "The railways seem to have not learnt any lessons. They are repeating their mistakes and playing with fire,” said another member, Madhu Kotian. “At platforms of some suburban stations, the rain shade is far from the footbridge and people tend to wait there till the rain subsides. This leads to overcrowding on the stairs of the bridge and could be dangerous," said member of WR’s Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, Shailesh Goyal.
CR and WR say
Speaking to mid-day, Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, CR, said, "An action plan was drawn up before the monsoon and work is proceeding on war footing. We will ensure that all possible stations are covered soon as per the norms." Meanwhile, Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR, said, "Platforms have been covered on a majority of the stations. However, on a few stations, the work is in its final stages and will be completed soon."