It’s not just people who commute at night who face problems. Commuters from both the western and the central lines complain that the indicators and announcement systems may work, but are not effective even during the day as often the information announced and displayed is delayed or incorrect, which creates confusion, especially during peak hours.
“We rush to catch a particular train, but instead another train pulls in. It causes huge chaos,” said Heena Shaikh, 19, a Mulund resident.
Many commuters claim that at certain stations, there are no indicator displays or announcements even during the day.
“The indicators and announcement system at Vashi station never functions. Even if trains are 20 minutes late, passengers are not informed about the arrival time,” said Pranita Kulkarni, 18, a Vashi resident. “We don’t know where to go for such information.”
The problem is as prevalent on the Western Railway (WR), say Mumbaiites. “The indicators at Mahim, Mumbai Central and Goregaon stations never function properly. Often, when trains are late, no announcement is made either,” said Siddiqui Khalid, 20, a student and Mahim resident.
Atul Rane, the Central Railway senior divisional commercial manager, said: “The announcement and indicators are handled by the same person. The announcer receives information from the station master. In case of unusual disruptions, it takes time for the station master to confirm the delay and inform the announcer, so announcements get affected.”
Sharat Chandrayan, WR chief public relations officer, refused to admit that there are any flaws in the system. “Our indicator system is integrated with the train management system, so there is no question of wrong or no display. We have state-of-the-art technology that shows in how many minutes a train is expected,” he said.