Fed up with constant delays on the Churchgate-Dahanu, and Virar-Dahanu railway project, a municipal corporator from Vasai has moved the Bombay high court seeking immediate commencement of suburban train services on the above sectors.
The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rajkumar Chorghe in June 2011 contends that though the Western Railways planned to commence suburban train services on the routes by December 2007, commuters have been kept waiting till date.
At present, local trains on the Western Railway run up to Virar, after which one has to switch to diesel multiple-unit trains or inter-state passenger trains for a 60 km journey to Dahanu, which spans seven stations.
The petition states that the ordeal of changing trains is aggravated by the fact that the connecting passenger trains are seldom on time. Chorghe said that students who travel to schools and college are affected the most as are commuters travelling to the industrial belt of Dahanu, Boisar and Palghar.
Given this hardship, the railway manager and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation should start suburban train services at the earliest, the petition demands.
Atul Almeida, Chorghe’s lawyer, said that the court will be urged to fix a deadline for the commencement of operations. Almeida said that over 50,000 commuters will benefit from the Rs 55 crore railway project.
The project is being seen as a tool to improve connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and stimulate development in far-flung suburbs.
Chorghe’s petition was mentioned before a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice GS Godbole.
The matter will come up for hearing on August 24.