It was a day of upgrades for the suburban network: Dadar, Churchgate, Bandra, Bandra Terminus, Kalyan, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Khar are now WiFi enabled, CST got a water recycling plant and a bio-toilet for differently-abled people, Kurla and Thane got deluxe toilets, a ‘Namma’ toilet was installed at Khar Road, while new toilets were inaugurated at Mahalaxmi, Kalyan and Govandi.
The services, commissioned by Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday, failed to impress commuters, many of whom found issues with them on the first day.
The WiFi, commuters said, ran slowly during the peak hours, owing to the number of people using it.
Commuter activists complained the deluxe toilet at Kurla was closed till late afternoon, hours after the inauguration. “I registered a complained with the station manager at Kurla. Why was the facility not opened for the public even after inauguration? This is complete eye-wash by railway officials, an attempt to fool both the public and the railway ministry,” said Subhash Gupta, a member of the zonal railway users consultative committee (ZRUCC), Central Railway (CR).
Commuters also complained about how existing toilets were poorly maintained.
“Before inaugurating new toilets, the railways should repair and maintain the old ones. The condition of toilets at Govandi and Mankhrud is pathetic,” said Rohit Lad, a Mankhrud resident.
The railways also opened an elevated deck 2,850sqm at Goregaon, to allow faster dispersal of crows, a ground+2 building with a new ticketing office at Borivli and a booking office at Nalasopara and Goregaon (North end).
“All the facilities were dedicated to the people today. Eventually, they will be opened. I will check why the toilet was not opened immediately,” said Narendra Patil, chief public relation officer (CPRO) Central Railway.