Due to the growing skirmishes between Virar and Palghar commuters in express and local trains, the Western Railway (WR) is all set to cancel the stoppages of the 22927/22928 Bandra-Ahmedabad Lokshakti Express at Virar and Saphale railway stations.
A proposal has already been sent to this effect, and the Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM) would take the final decision.
However, local passenger associations at Palghar have demanded that the train should skip Virar, but maintain the halt at Saphale, as scores of commuters depend on the train to reach home in the evening run.
Since the past few weeks, there has been an increase in clashes between Virar and Palghar commuters in long distance trains and the newly introduced Dahanu-Churchgate local, causing a law and order issue.
Fourteen people were arrested by the RPF in late October for creating nuisance and pulling the chain at Virar. They were later released on bail by the Railway Court, Vasai. Last week, women commuters of Palghar, Dahanu and other areas closed all the entry doors of the local to prevent Virar commuters to board a Ladies coach, resulting in chain-pulling and delay of services for a few minutes.
The WR has sent a proposal to cancel the halts of the Lokshakti Express trains at Virar and Saphale, as Virar and Vasai based commuters holding monthly season tickets board the reserved compartments and create a nuisance.
“To escape the daily rush at peak hour, several Virar passangers board express trains, and then pick fights with passengers with reserved seats,” said Shilpa Jain, a commuter of Palghar, who is also member of the Flying Rani Passengers’ Group.
“We are aware of the WR proposal, and we want the Lokshakti Express to skip Virar but continue to halt at Saphale station, as there are scores of people who depend on the train to return home. We will plan an agitation if the train stops halting at Saphale,” she added.
“We are considering the proposal, but the decision would be taken by Manijit Singh, CPTM, Churchgate and the Railway Board would make the final approval,” said Gajanan Mahatpurkar, public relations officer of WR.