After the Thane project fiasco that saw swelling crowds on its suburban trains and four deaths, Central Railway (CR) seems to have learnt its lesson the hard way.
For its first mega block since the Thane project on Sunday, CR in its press statement said that trains would be running inordinately late and it was best to avoid over-crowded trains.
The last paragraph of the statement reads ‘Due to this block, fast locals and slow locals on main line and harbour line locals will be running about 15 minutes behind schedule. As a result of this, suburban trains are likely to be more crowded than usual. Passengers are requested not to take any risks while travelling. They are also requested to avoid travelling on footboard or rooftop of locals and not to board extremely over-crowded trains.’
The statement comes after the railway board chairman Vinay Mittal in a press briefing last Saturday had blamed the Thane fiasco on the poor communication levels of CR authorities. “We were unable to tell the people the magnitude of the project or the scale of disruptions it would cause,” Mittal had said.
“We have realised that we won’t be able to run as many trains as is required on Sunday. Moreover, with over 90% of all Mumbaikars travelling by trains, expecting BEST buses to take a part of the load is wishful thinking. It is best to warn the commuter that travelling during the mega block won’t be a pleasant one,” said the official.
As per the CR schedule, a mega block would be operated on the Up slow line between Mulund and Matunga from 11.30am to 3.30pm and between Nerul and Mankhurd station on both lines between 11am to 3pm.