AC stops working in Mumbai local train, angry commuters pull chain after it gets suffocating
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AC stops working in Mumbai local train, angry commuters pull chain after it gets suffocating

This is the second Friday in a row that there has been a problem with the AC train, which runs on the western line.

mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2018 01:30 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai AC local,local trains
Wester Railway operates 12 AC services daily on the Chuchgate-Virar corridor, except on weekends.(HT File Photo)

Commuters who travel by Mumbai’s suburban AC local train were miffed on Friday morning after the air-conditioning in the 7.54 am Churchgate-bound local stop working. This is the second Friday in a row that there has been a problem with the AC train.

Last week, on June 15, Western Railway (WR) cancelled the AC train service, without prior intimation, for maintenance work.

On Friday morning, passengers complained that it got suffocating inside the train and impossible to stay in after the air-conditioning stopped working. The temperature inside the compartments reportedly shot up to 36 degrees Celsius, forcing commuters to pull the chain after which the train was halted at Andheri station.

However, the problem with the air-conditioning could not be fixed, and the train was taken to the car shed for repair. “The train has been taken to the Mahalaxmi car shed and the issue is being fixed. Services will resume once the problem is rectified,” said a WR official, who did not wish to be named.

Angry commuters got into an argument with Railway Protection Force personnel and railway authorities at Andheri station, and later complained on Twitter. “AC local 7.54 am from Borivali to Churchgate, AC not working we complained to the motorman twice but still not resolved we all are suffering from suffocation train about to reach Andheri,” tweeted commuter Mayur Vaniya. Another commuter, Paras Gangwal, tweeted: “AC not working in AC local 7.54 am from Borivali. It’s suffocating in coaches @PiyushGoyal @drmbct please help urgently.”

According to the WR, air-conditioning in three coaches of the 7.54am Churchgate-bound AC train stopped functioning near Borivli, when the train was in motion. Crowded train, automatic doors and lack of ventilation left several commuters breathless. Passengers claimed they informed the motorman, but nothing came of it. Some also took to the social media for help. “AC not working…we have complained to the motorman twice, but [the issue] is still not resolved. We all are suffering from suffocation,” tweeted commuter Mayur Vaniya. “And we want to run a bullet train. We don’t even have the capacity to run a 12-coach AC local that does four trips a day in Mumbai,” tweeted another commuter Naqeeb Kassmi.

They then pulled the emergency chain to halt the train at Andheri station. “The air-conditioning collapsed and the temperature inside the compartment went up to 36 degrees Celsius,” said a western railway official.

As the train stopped at Andheri, commuters got into an argument with WR authorities. Around 15 minutes later, the train left for Churchgate, from where it was taken to Mahalaxmi car shed to rectify the problem. Six services were suspended. The train was operational by 5.49pm.

Soon after, WR tweeted out an apology. “Due to technical problem in working of AC in 3 coaches of AC local, the services of AC local has been cancelled today till further repairs. Inconvenience to commuters is highly regretted please.”

Passengers’ association said such problems should be fixed in time to increase the number of commuters. “If such problems persist, the AC local train will not gain passengers. The railway ministry should take serious note of the matter,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.

“Railways should grant two-day pass extension to the passengers, as they cancelled the services without any notice,” said Pramod Doshi, a Borivli resident.

WR introduced the first AC local in Mumbai six months ago, on December 25, 2017. It operates 12 AC services daily on the Churchgate-Virar corridor, except on weekends.

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 11:17 IST