Western Railway cancels change of timings of local trains after commuters block tracks

Essential services employees blocked the tracks at Palghar, Kelwe Road and Saphale railheads for about 45 minutes from 5.15 am on Wednesday.
Commuters, mostly eseential services employees blocked rail tracks to protest the proposed change of timings saying they would reach their workplaces late.(HT PHOTO)
Commuters, mostly eseential services employees blocked rail tracks to protest the proposed change of timings saying they would reach their workplaces late.(HT PHOTO)
Published on Dec 02, 2020 07:44 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Ram Parmar

The Western Railway has decided to cancel the proposed restoration of the timings of Dahanu-Churchgate local trains from Thursday till further notice following a wildcat 45-minute blockade by commuters, mainly essential services employees, at Palghar, Kelwe Road and Saphale railheads just after 5 am Wednesday morning.

The WR will now continue the Dahanu Special 2 local from Dahanu to Churchgate in the Up section at 4.40 am. The train’s timing was to be changed to 5.40 am from Thursday

The essential services employees were protesting the proposed restoration of Dahanu suburban train services with effect from December 3. Both Up and Down traffic was held up before the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and WR staff convinced protestors to clear the tracks

Currently, local trains carry only essential service employees like staff civic nurses, technicians, ward boys, medicos, pharmacists, besides employees of Mazgaon dock, BMC, Mantralaya, police and other services and with the change in the timings the employees would reach the workplaces late.

The WR was to restore the timing of Up section, and except for the Dahanu Special 2 local which will continue to depart Dahanu at 4.40 am to reach Churchgate at 7.04 am, while Dahanu Special 1 which departs Dahanu at 5.40 am to reach Andheri at 7.34 am was to be restored as DRD 93001 with a departure time of 7.05 am at Dahanu that would reach Virar at 8.25 am.

In the Down section, Dahanu Special 1 which used to depart Virar at 4.10 am to reach Dahanu at 5.25 am was scheduled to depart Virar at 5 am to reach Dahanu at 6.15 am as DRD 93001,while DRD 93011 which used to depart from Churchgate at 7.45 am and reach Dahanu at 10.35 am was scheduled to depart from Virar at 9.10 am and reach Dahanu at 10.35 am as train number DRD 93011 according to the December 1 notification which has now been cancelled, Sumit Thakur, WR’s chief public relations officer (CPRO) said on Wednesday.

During the run of special suburban services at the gradual opening of lockdown, timings of Dahanu Road trains had been changed temporarily and with effect from December 3 the timings have been restored, Thakur said in a statement.

Sarita Sankhe, a nurse at the Shatabdi Hospital, Kandivli said the WR should continue to run the local at the current timings. “Earlier I used to reach my workplace at around 6.30 am and the night duty staff would be relieved and now with the timing change unless I reach the hospital, the night duty staff will have to stay put,” said Sankhe who stays in Boisar and has been commuting daily for the past decade.

“Earlier there was no bio-metric attendance system at my workplace but from mid-December the biometric attendance will begin and I will reach late for work and face the ire of my superiors. The Nair hospital has already resumed the bio-metric attendance system and soon all civic hospitals will have the same shortly, said Sankhe.

The government Railway Police (GRP) in Palghar has registered a FIR against unidentified protestors under Sections 142,143,149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC, Disaster Management Act, 2005 and State Covid-19 Regulation Act,2020 and also Section 174 (obstructing running of train) of Railway Act,1989 said police sub inspector Vishwasrao Mudavatkar of Palghar GRP.

“We are going through the video clips of the accused who were protesting at the railway station and we will arrest them,” he said.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021