Women commuters on the Central Railway are saying that Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Matrubhumi suburban trains are being hijacked by their male counterparts on the harbour and trans-harbour sections.
Male commuters say the railways should not have reserved an entire train for women as there is very less occupancy in many trains on the harbour and trans-harbour lines. The fight is over suburban trains plying between the satellite cities of Thane and Navi Mumbai, called the trans-harbour line. Traders from Agriculture Market Produce Committee, at Navi Mumbai have sent an SOS to commuter organisations, asking them to request the railways to reserve only a few coaches for women.
“What is the point of having a train reserved for ladies, when it is almost empty?” asked Harishbhau Shinde, a trader.
A few days ago, male commuters protested on Thane station, demanding reservation of at least the last three coaches for male commuters. Madhu Kotian, president of Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh, who had demanded the train in the budget, said they were going to take up the issue with the railways. “We will request the railways to have a few coaches more than the regular ones, reserved for women and not the entire train,” he added.