Need a separate coach in Metro, Mono: Dabbawalas

Mumbai: Even though the Mumbai dabbawalas satiate the hunger of more than two lakh office-goers everyday, they are not allowed to travel in Metro or Mono trains.

To address the travel woes faced by the dabbawalas, the association has for some time been demanding a separate coach or reservation for a couple of hours during the rush hours in the existing and upcoming Metro corridors.

In this regard, a delegation will soon meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner RA Rajeev, undertaking different Metro projects in the MMR, said Subhash Talekar, the president of the Mumbai dabbawala association.

Currently, the dabbawalas are allowed to commute in locals only for delivering tiffins to long distance offices. According to Talekar, the provision of small luggage cabin will not benefit just dabbawalas but also other small businessmen.

Talekar stated, “The dabbawalas carry heavy weight of tiffin boxes everyday in crowded locals. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for them to travel in trains during peak hours.

If they are allowed to use Metro and Mono trains, delivering tiffins will be an easy job. Moreover, they will have different modes of transport and will save time. The association hopes their demands are met.”

As of now, the dabbawalas only do the job of ferrying tiffins of customers from home to office and back. This service is useful for those who have someone to cook at their home.

However, those staying alone and having long working hours seldom get time to cook. Therefore, they are also planning if the wives of dabbawalas start cooking and delivering food so that they could earn more income.

The dabbawalas’ association has about two lakh customers, who are provided tiffin boxes at their offices by 5,000 members, who travel in local trains, while the rest walk it or pedal the distances on their bicycles.

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