Commuter activists have demanded better co-ordination between Central Railway (CR) and other state transport agencies, so that there are alternative modes of transport available during the maintenance blocks on weekends.
Till recently, CR used to impose a five-hour mega block only on Sundays. However, due to an increase in the number of services and lack of time for maintenance, the administration decided to impose a two-hour maintenance block on Saturday too.
In view of this, commuter activists have demanded that suburban passengers be allowed to use long distance trains on weekends.
“We should be provided with alternative mode of public transport if the railways are not operating services during stipulated hours on weekends. They should coordinate with state transport or BEST authorities for providing the option,” said Madhu Kotian, president Rail Pravasi Sangh, Mumbai.
The activists also demanded that blocks be announced well in advance. “Now, we learn about the blocks only a day in advance,” said Lata Argade, commuter activist.
CR general manager Sunil Kumar Sood said, “The Saturday blocks will be regularly held for two hours. We will coordinate with other transport agencies so that the passengers get some alternate mode of transport.”
Requesting anonymity, a Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking official said, “We have informed the concerned officials and will provide more services on the block section.”