Angry commuters stage ‘rail roko’ at Vasind railway station; Mumbai locals delayed
Dense fog on Saturday morning affected visibility and delayed train services on the Central Railway’s (CR) main and harbour lines. The issue was exacerbated by angry commuters at Vasind, who upset with the disruptions, held a “rail roko”.
Currently, trains are running at least 15 to 40 minutes late. While trains from Kasara to CSMT are up to 40 minutes late, trains from Kalyan to CSMT are operating at 15-minute delay. Services on the harbour line were running 15 minutes late in the morning.
Despite being a weekend, there is heavy rush at all railway stations on the line.
Rajesh Ghanghav, president of Karjat-Kasara Passengers Association, said: “The rail roko started at 6.45am, when around 100 commuters blocked both the up and down tracks because long-distance trains were being prioritised over suburban trains.”
Ghanghav said four mail trains were allowed to go, while during the whole time, one local train remained stationary, which upset commuters. “Passengers blocked the track and let rail traffic resume only after getting written assurance from railway officials that local trains would run as per schedule from Sunday,” he added.
Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, Central Railway, said: “There is dense fog in the suburban section, beyond Kalyan, which delayed trains. Rail traffic resumed by 8.30am.”
Udasi contested Ghanghav’s claim that outstation trains were given priority. “No mail express train was given preference over suburban trains. In fact, keeping commuters in mind, we halted five express trains in the section.”
The PRO said weather conditions forced the delay. “Visibility is very poor, so we are not running trains at normal speed as it would not be safe. Trains are running around 30 to 40 minutes late,” he said, adding, “In this kind of situation, people should cooperate rather than stage rail roko. It will further delay operations.”
The CR said it made announcements at all stations that commuters with tickets and passes could travel by mail and express trains in case of emergencies.