Mumbaikars call for better services

Mumbaikars call for better services
Mumbai’s suburban railway network is the biggest and one of the best in the world – but there are several issues at the same time like facilities for commuters and the crowd during the peak hours.

The railway network is spread over Mumbai and the neighboring districts of Thane, Palghar, and Raigad.

Spread over 465 km, the suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and carries more than 78 lakh plus commuters daily. There are 136 suburban stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

By annual ridership (2.64 billion), the Mumbai suburban railway is one of the busiest commuter rail systems in the world. It is spread over four lines – the Mainline of Western Railway (WR) and Harbour, Trans-Harbour and the Mainline of the Central Railway (CR).

The issue of safety of commuters has come to the fore once again in the wake of the Elphinstone Road FoB stampede last week that claimed 23 lives and resulted in injuries to 38 others.

“What we need is more lines and more trains, the population of Mumbai is constantly increasing,” said Shaibal Gupta, a space seller, based in Vasai.

“The services are the best, the signaling system is the best. But there is lack of toilets, foot-over bridges and entry and exit at bridges are jammed during the morning and evening peak hours,” said Tushir Choudhary, the director of School of Broadcasting and Communication at Andheri.

Activist Dinesh Sadh, who travels from Mulund and Bandra on a regular basis, said that no doubt we need to upgrade facilities but given the regularity and punctuality, the railway administration needs to be commenced. “What we need is the reduction of babu-culture,” he said.

“The Indian Railways should not take Mumbaikars for granted,” said RTI activist Anil Galgali.

“The Delhi-based railway bosses have always neglected Mumbai and it's needed. There was hope that Mumbai based Suresh Prabhu and now Piyush Goyal would do something for Mumbai, seems to be a distant dream,” said Galgali, said adding that in its blind ambition for Bullet Train the Central and the state government has not been paying attention towards the needs of the daily commuters.

One of the major issues that are a matter of concern is the deaths on the tracks. “Daily 10 to 12 and sometimes more die while crossing the tracks. It's the fault of the commuters. The railways have also been running campaigns, people have been penalized but these deaths are happening and this is a reality,” said Raj Suri, who publishes the Mumbai Guide.
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