Services on the Central Railway (CR) were disrupted for the third day in a row. However, on Wednesday it wasn’t the rains that resulted in 55 trains being cancelled.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad had organised a protest against the demolition of slums at Mumbra. Around 7.15am, hundreds of protesters from the slums staged a rail roko at Kharegaon LC gate between Kalwa and Mumbra stations. They were dispersed only after the police took charge of the situation around 8.45am.
However, suburban services between Thane and Kalyan came to a halt, and five trains were stranded at various locations.
“We had to stop our services on the slow line. Special services were operated between CST-Thane. There were no slow line services between Thane and Kalyan for an hour,” said Vidyadhar Malegaonkar, PRO, CR.
“We had estimated around 100 cancellations, but only 55 were cancelled,” said Malegaonkar. “The agitation was not by commuters, but by political organisations.”
The cascading effect of the protest was felt till late in the evening with trains running 30-45 minutes late.
Priyanka Maurya, a Mumbai University student and resident of Kalyan, said, “I waited 40 minutes for a train to Kurla from Thane station. I was an hour late for my lecture and had to convince my professor to allow me in the class.”
With services being cancelled, heavy rush was witnessed at platforms and in the trains being run.
Heavy rain in the city and in Thane district since Monday has thrown CR services completely out of gear. More then 400 trains were cancelled in the past two days. Commuters were irked due to repeated disruptions.