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CR’s winter timetable to avoid train delays irks Mumbai commuters

Commuters’ groups, especially those formed by passengers beyond Kalyan, are upset with new, temporary timetable

mumbai Updated: Dec 19, 2017 11:14 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,CR,suburban
In the winter timetable, the CR has revised timing of 11 early morning suburban services leaving Kasara, Kalyan, Khopoli and Ambernath. The departure time for these trains has been preponed by 15 to 20 minutes. (Representational Photo/HT File)

The Central Railways’ (CR) decision of introducing winter timetable for suburban locals to improve punctuality of local trains has not been well-received by the commuters’ groups, who represent 40 lakh suburban commuters. The CR operates more than 1,600 suburban services every day.

The commuters’ groups, especially those formed by commuters travelling beyond Kalyan, are upset with the temporary timetable. A delegation met high-ranking CR officials from Mumbai division on Monday and protested against the timetable.

“Giving the reason of fog, the CR has changed the timetable. However, suburban services are still running late every day,” said Nandakumar Deshmukh, president, Upnagariya Railway Pravasi Ekta Sanstha.

In the winter timetable, the CR has revised timing of 11 early morning suburban services leaving Kasara, Kalyan, Khopoli and Ambernath. The departure time for these trains has been preponed by 15 to 20 minutes. The new timetable came into effect from Monday.

“While Western Railways’ (WR) trains run properly, the CR trains get affected by fog,” said Deshmukh, adding that the CR administration is trying to save its face for failure to maintain the system, by pinning the blame on natural phenomena.

Of late, the CR witnessed a couple of passenger agitations — between Kalyan and Kasara stations — where angry commuters stopped long distance trains after the administration gave preference to mail and express trains instead of suburban locals.

The groups also questioned the reason behind trains crawling between Byculla and CSMT stations. They alleged that the why do trains take 15-20 minutes in the morning hours, when the same distance is covered in 6 to 7 minutes in the evening.

The activists said the operating department officials have assured to improve punctuality in eight days. But passed the buck on to Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation for delay is completion of Kalyan-Kasara third line and two additional lines between Diva-Thane stations, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020-21.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 22:41 IST