If you were hoping that the new suburban Bombardier rakes inducted into service from Wednesday will make your daily commute comfortable, you are mistaken. The seats in the first class compartments are narrower, with improper back rest.
The first class compartment seats in these new MUTP-2 trains, each costing around Rs 43 crore, are just 35cm wide, while the second class seats are 38cm-wide, making it uncomfortable for commuters travelling longer distance from stations such as Khopoli or Karjat.
Cheatan Bakshi, commissioner railway safety for central circle, had highlighted the issue in his report, while giving a safety nod to the new trains. “The first class seats are uncomfortable because of the size and shape of the seat and the backrest. It should be improved and made more comfortable,” reads the report.
The CRS also suggested rounding off the corners of the seat, to avoid injury to passengers. “Moulded material seat in one of the coach was found broken…Quality of seating material needs to be improved,” the report states.
“The seats in old yellow-maroon rakes were much better,” said Sunil Kale, a Thane resident.
Despite paying four times more for a season ticket and 8-12 times more for card tickets for first class journey, commuters are not getting value for their money, said passenger groups. “The railway administration is ignoring the comfort of first class passengers,” said Subhash Gupta, a passenger activist.
Meanwhile, the first MUTP-2 train will make its maiden run on Western Railway on Wednesday morning.