Rajkumar Chorge, corporator, Vasai and Virar Municipal Corporation, has sent a legal notice to Western Railway (WR) after the latter failed to start direct local train services between Virar and Dahanu.
Chorge said the services have not started though the deadline of March 31 has passed. According to the notice, the WR should start EMU (electric multiple unit) services within 15 days of receiving the notice, failing which Chorge will file a contempt petition in the high court (HC).
Last year, WR’s deputy chief operations manager had filed an affidavit in the HC, stating that new EMU services between Virar and Dahanu will be introduced, as announced by the Railways in the 2012 rail budget. The court was told that depending on the availability of rakes, the trains will be introduced by March 31 this year.
The affidavit stated that the conversion of DC to AC traction had been completed on February 5, 2012. The leftover rakes would be used on the Virar-Dahanu section and would be converted into EMU from Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU). The court had observed that these are issues which are important for the public.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in June 2011 claims that WR had given their assurance that they would start direct local trains in December 2007, but it has not been done so far.
The petition states that the Railway Manager and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation should start local trains in this stretch as soon as possible for the benefit of commuters.
Chorge’s petition said that for the past five years, commuters are suffering and have to change trains at Virar. “The Railways have not replied to the notice yet. We are preparing the contempt petition,” said Dyaneshwar Deshmukh, Chorge’s lawyer.