The Konkan Railway has released its timetable for the special trains it runs during the Ganpati festival, but there’s no separate train for the Konkan belt as it promised to Maharashtra revenue minister Narayan Rane and the Shiv Sena.
The timetable was released on Thursday for the festival, which begins on September 11.
Last month, Rane had announced that he was planning a protest against the Konkan Railway on July 9 as it had “given no benefits to the local population”, and demanded more trains and halts for the region.
However, he cancelled protest plans claiming the railway board chairman had assured him of a special train. The Sena, then, had announced that it would launch a protest on June 30 and a delegation of Sena MPs met Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee over the issue, after which they said she had promised a separate train. BJP leader Vinod Tawde and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, too, have made representations to the Konkan Railway.
The Thursday timetable, however, does not reflect this promise.
There are 76 special trains to the Konkan belt as compared to the 68 last year.
The special trains will run between September 7 and 25: 38 between CST and Madgaon, 22 between CST and Karwar and 16 unreserved trains between CST and Madgaon.
Though all these trains will pass through the Konkan region and have halts there, there is no separate train.
Commuters complain that these trains are too crowded by the time they each the Konkan belt.
Officials said the railway board is yet to finalise the Konkan-bound train.
“The new train has not yet been announced by the railway board. As soon as it is announced, we shall introduce it,” said Siddheshwar Telugu, Konkan Railway’s chief PRO.
The Konkan has been a political battleground for the Sena and Rane, a former Sainik and now Congress leader, ever since he quit the saffron party in 2005.
The region has traditionally been a Sena stronghold and a large number of the working population in Mumbai and Thane hails from this area.