Commuters were caught unawares, took to social media to troll Railways
Hordes of confused commuters at Panvel railway station on Tuesday. PIC/Devram Hadwale
There was utter chaos at Panvel station as Central Railway (CR) on Tuesday changed platform numbers without informing the general public and commuters.
"You cannot wake up suddenly and renumber platforms overnight without giving any notice. There was too much suffering and chaos at Panvel station in the morning. They renumbered the platforms without any notice and warnings," said a commuter Prakash Kadam.
"We got on the local train at Panvel station as the platform indicator showed it was the 8.09 am train. The entire train was packed and then Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers came up and emptied the entire train, saying it was the 8.19 ladies special and that the platform numbers had been changed in the morning. You can imagine the anger among the public. This is not the way," another commuter, Anant Kamath, said.
CR officials said they had decided to change the platform numbers in view of Panvel Suburban Yard remodelling and formally announced the changes in the evening. Commuters also trolled them as there had been a lot of confusion since morning, causing a lot of inconvenience.
“Do they not have any standard operating procedure? Do they not follow any rules or sympathise with the general public or are on their own high?” Rishikesh Mukadam, another commuter asked.
CR has been accused of mismanagement over the past few days due to several train disruptions, delays in completing blocks and failure to provide timely information to commuters, leading to outrage and protests. A derailment on Saturday afternoon and subsequent train disruption, leading to the long detention of passenger trains for hours, sparked protests by hungry and thirsty commuters at Diva station on Sunday morning. Tuesday’s incident also underscores the lack of timely information as adequate notice needs to be given to the general public and commuters with regard to altering the numbering of platforms.
Mayhem in Ghatkopar
Ghatkopar railway station was overflowing with Mumbai Metro Blue Line One commuters as there was a service disruption, leading to overflowing of Metro passengers on the railway premises on Tuesday morning. While the crowding jammed the Railways’ 12-metre-long footover bridge, CR commuters said they had no place to walk. Mumbai Metro Blue Line One issued a statement on social media saying "Services were slightly delayed due to a technical fault."
Metro commuters throng the bridge that connects to Ghatkopar railway station on October 3
Dhaval Shah, chairman of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association, said, “When is Metro One going to increase coach capacity from four to six? It's overdue for many years. MMRDA is an equal partner. They should take over the management and increase the rakes and coaches.”
Shah has put up an online petition seeking the conversion of four-car trains into six-car ones to maintain pressure on the issue.