A delegation of Shiv Sena leaders, led by Member of Parliament Arvind Sawant, met Sunil Kumar Sood, general manager of Central Railway (CR), on Friday, to demand that some fast trains be allowed to halt at platforms three and four of Parel station during peak hours.
The delegation pointed out that the platforms have been lying unused.
At present, only slow trains halt at Parel station on platforms one and two, which share a narrow flight of stairs leading to the foot overbridge. During peak hours, these stairs become extremely crowded.
In the past few years, the area adjoining Parel station has witnessed widespread commercial and real estate development, transforming it into a business district.
Huge numbers of office-goers pass through the station every day during peak hours. Many commuters, travelling from distant suburbs, take the fast train service to Dadar, and then switch over to slow trains to reach Parel, where their offices are located.
To ease the congestion on platforms one and two, commuter activists have suggested that fast trains halt at the unused platforms on Parel station. This would give daily commuters the added benefit of direct fast trains to Parel.
“I have requested the general manager to arrange for at least a few halts at Parel station during peak hours, by utilising the existing infrastructure which is lying unused,” said Sawant, after the meeting.
Hindustan Times has consistently reported on the lack of railway infrastructure at Parel station, and the inconvenience suffered by commuters. Taking note of this, the Government Railway Police (GRP) deployed additional police personnel at the station to manage crowds.
“Deploying additional police personnel is a temporary solution. The railway administration should seek permanent solutions, such as allowing fast trains to halt at the unused platforms,” said Chitra Wagh, member, Maharashtra State Commission for Women.
The delegation also demanded new foot overbridges, or extension of existing ones, on harbour line stations such as Dockyard Road, Cotton Green, Reay Road and Sewri.