The railway ministry has put the blame for the commuting chaos on the Central Railway to poor levels of communication between the CR authorities and the public. Commuting on the CR was a disaster last week which saw three people dead and almost 700 trains cancelled.
Speaking to the press on Saturday, Vinay Mittal, chairman, Railway Board, said that CR authorities could not communicate to the public the magnitude of the Thane project or the disruptions it would cause. “CR’s information system has to be revamped completely,” he said.
“The Thane remodelling project was huge. Almost 16 cross-overs had to be dismantled. The entire signalling had to be relaid once the Route Relay Interlocking set-up was overhauled. It was bound to cause disruptions but a communication gap caused problems for the commuters,” said Mittal.
As a corrective measure, Mittal said that the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) — railway’s apex technology agency — would be drafted in to build a system which could relay such disruptions and schedule changes to commuters in real time.
CR had placed an advertisements in the paper on Saturday, hours before the work was to start.
On whether the delay in completing some of the works during the project was an engineering failure, CR general manager Subodh Jain replied in the negative. “Delays in such works is not out of the ordinary,” he said.
Mittal preferred playing it safe when asked if the railway took the blame for the deaths that happened in the chaos post the Thane project. “We agree that every death is unfortunate and should be avoided,” said Mittal.
Mittal was in the city to assess the CR situation and pay a visit to the western leg of the Dedicated Freight Corridor which runs from Mumbai to Dadri near Noida.