For Ganpati, 14 new rail services to Konkan | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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For Ganpati, 14 new rail services to Konkan

Keeping its word to Maharashtra, the railway board and the Konkan Railway on Thursday announced 14 special trains between Mumbai and Sawantwadi for the Ganpati festival, and several additional trains between Mumbai and Goa.

mumbai Updated: Aug 20, 2010 01:51 IST
Rajendra Aklekar

Keeping its word to Maharashtra, the railway board and the Konkan Railway on Thursday announced 14 special trains between Mumbai and Sawantwadi for the Ganpati festival, and several additional trains between Mumbai and Goa.

Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and the Shiv Sena had threatened protests if additional trains from Mumbai to Konkan were not introduced.

Rane had announced in June that he would launch a protest against the Konkan Railway on July 9 because the railway had “given no benefits to the local population” and demanded more trains and halts in the region.

He, however, took back his protest claiming that the railway board chairman had given him an assurance that more trains would be introduced. The Sena also claimed to have met Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for a separate train and said she had agreed.

BJP leader Vinod Tawde and chief minister Ashok Chavan too had made representations to the Konkan railway.

On Thursday, the Konkan Railway announced 14 special 15-car trains between Dadar and Sawantwadi, seven each to and from Sawantwadi. The train will have reserved coaches, air-conditioned coaches and general compartments.

The trains will run between Dadar and Sawantwadi and back on September 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24 and 26.

While the train leaving Dadar will depart at 12:45 am and reach Sawantwadi at 1:20 pm, the one leaving Sawantwadi will depart at 3:35 pm and reach Dadar at 4:20 am. Numbered 0113 and 0114, bookings for these trains will open on August 21.

The railways had earlier announced that they would run 76 Ganpati special trains this September to the Konkan belt as compared to 68 last year. Of the total lot, which will ply between September 7 and 25, 38 are trains between CST and Madgaon in Goa, 22 between CST and Karwar while 16 unreserved trains will run between CST and Madgaon. Ganpati festival falls on September 11.

Konkan has always been a political battleground between the Shiv Sena and former Sainik and now Congress leader and Revenue Minister Narayan Rane. It has traditionally been a Sena stronghold and a large number of working population is in the Mumbai and Thane region is from the Konkan region.