Commuters in the city have sent Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee a wish list for the railway budget due out in February.
The demands include the creation of a separating Mumbai suburban railway zone for better efficiency, linking of both the railways, extending suburban services to Pen, and running 15-car trains on the Virar-Dahanu segment.
“We’ve submitted a 14-point charter of demands for Mumbai to the railway board chairman and apprised local railway officials of it,” said Madhu Kotian, president of the Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh (MRPS).
“Nearly 70 lakh commuters travel daily on various sections of Mumbai suburban railways. Commuters have been experiencing severe hardships, with many projects awaiting completion due to improper allocation of funds,” he added.
Shailesh Goel of the Rail Users Welfare Association said commuters from Gujarat want a Rajdhani Express between Mumbai and Delhi via Ahmedabad.
The other demands include air-conditioned trains and additional outstation trains connecting various parts of the country. “Three budgets have passed since the AC local train was announced, but where’s the train?” Goel asked.
“Mamataji should announce a proper financial package for Mumbai. Among our demands is the quadrupling of the Harbour line, and conversion of all trains into 12-car ones at the earliest,” Subhash Gupta of the Mumbai Yatri Sangh said.
Another of the MRPS’s demands is the linking of the Central and Western Railways so passengers do not have to take to road transport. “The government should bring all rail-oriented bodies like the Monorail, Metro and the railways under one body so there is better co-ordination,” Kotian said.
“There is no unified security agency for suburban rail travellers, and the security handled by the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police has loopholes,” he added.