Report highlighting plight of passengers prompts several associations to come forward to demand justice
Subhash Gupta, president of Rail Yatri Parishad
Railway associations have come forward and demanded justice for the passengers who are forced to shell out money to travel to or from other stations despite having tickets valid for Bandra Terminus. This comes after mid-day highlighted the plight of passengers as Western Railway moved trains starting or terminating at Bandra Terminus to other stations in view of pit line work. The passengers associations said they would approach the railway minister about the same. The trains have now moved to Mumbai Central, Dadar or Borivli in the city or Vapi or Valsad in neighbouring Gujarat.
Rail Yatri Parishad president Subhash Gupta told mid-day, “Railways always plan such works one to six months before it actually starts. Before starting the pit line work, officials should have studied which trains would be affected and stop bookings for the same. In case of tickets that are already booked, they should allow the passengers to travel to the revised station using the same ticket. Passengers, who booked tickets before 120 days, should also get a refund for the change in distance. The railways also has the responsibility to inform passengers about the change in the journey.”
Trains that used to start or end at Bandra Terminus have been shifted to other stations due to ongoing pit line work. File pic
“This is unfair to the passengers. After I learnt of this from the mid-day report, I posted about it on Twitter and tagged railway officials as well as the railway minister. I am strongly against such steps,” he added. Kamlesh Shah, member of Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, said, “Railway administration has two works: one is to serve the passengers and ensure their safety and the other is to develop the railway network. Currently, Western Railway is focussing on the development part with work on the pit lime, but it is also affecting the passengers. We can agree with the trains starting or ending at Mumbai Central, Dadar or Borivli, but Vapi and Valsad are too far. It is inconvenient for passengers to arrange transportation till there.”
“Earlier, passengers used to be informed about such things at least one month prior, giving them enough time to arrange their journey. But now, the railway is informing them only 48 hours before the journey. I will speak with railway department officials and the railway minister to resolve the issue at the earliest,” Shah added.
Dinesh Visaria from Kutch Janajagruti Abhiyan Committee said, “Railways generally conduct mega blocks for developments. Many times trains also run late. But passengers never make issues of these things. But this is a major inconvenience. Railways should have prepared well before starting the work. I will write to the administration to mitigate the plights of passengers.”
Sohanraj Jain, Mumbai president of Railway Passengers’ Association, said, “We are not against development, but the railways should think about passengers. If they change the starting point to another station within the Mumbai division, passengers can adjust accordingly. But passengers having to travel till Vapi and Valsad is just unacceptable. As this is the wedding season, a lot of senior citizens and children travel during this time, and most passengers also carry heavy luggage. It will be troublesome for them to reach the stations in the neighbouring state.”
Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee member Rakesh Jain said, “We know that there would be some minor problems that the passengers have to face due to ongoing development works, but making them travel till Vapi and Valsad is unfair. Many passengers have paid for their journey from Bandra Terminus, and the railway should refund them based on the difference in journey distance.”
‘This is unacceptable’
Sohanraj Jain, president, Railway Passengers’ Association-Mumbai
‘We are not against development, but the railways should think about passengers. If they change the starting point to another station within the Mumbai division, passengers can adjust accordingly. But passengers having to travel till Vapi and Valsad is just unacceptable’
Rakesh Jain, Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee
‘We know that there would be some minor problems that the passengers have to face due to ongoing development works, but making them travel till Vapi and Valsad is unfair. Many passengers have paid for their journey from Bandra Terminus, and the railway should refund them based on the difference in journey distance’