Commuters on the Central and harbor line suffered because of a mega block between 11am and 4pm on Sunday. Slow and semi-fast services between Kalyan and Mulund stations were diverted to the fast track. As a result, trains did not halt at Thakurli, Kopar, Diva, Mumbra, and Kalwa stations. The harbour line too was affected, as rail services leaving Panvel, Belapur and Vashi were suspended.
The Central Railway announcement of cancelling directly buying coupon vending machine (CVM) ticket booklets, from the counter added to commuter woes as they had stand for hours in ticket queues for the booklets. The Central Railway announced this on Saturday.
"Till Saturday, coupons were sold directly on ticket counters and suddenly they are asking us to line up in queues without creating enough public awareness about the same. Moreover, if they want us to queue up, they should open enough ticket counters," said Baliram Rane (52), a Dombivli resident and commuter.
The authorities, however, defended the decision. "Earlier also there would be disputes among passengers over purchasing coupon booklets directly from the counters.
Such incidents were observed during the General Manager (GM's) inspection and therefore the decision of queuing for the coupon booklets was implemented," said AK Singh, Public Relation Officer (PRO), CR. "We are making regular announcements of the new implementation about purchasing coupon booklets in ticket queue on railway stations. The dispute caused at Dombivli station would be looked into."
The move by the CR was intended to shift CVM ticket buyers to the Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) as the CVM facility will be phased out gradually by March 2013.