63-Hour Central Railway Mega Block Day 1: Double Whammy Of Delays, Heat

63-Hour Central Railway Mega Block Day 1: Double Whammy Of Delays, Heat

The 63-hour Central Railway mega block, which began on Thursday midnight, upended the travel plans of commuters on Friday.

NK GuptaUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 12:19 AM IST
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CSMT Station | Vijay Gohil

As anticipated, the 63-hour Central Railway mega block, which started on Thursday midnight, upended the travel plans of commuters on Friday. Harried travellers faced a double whammy of scorching heat and sluggish arrival of local trains. While most were aware of the scheduled disruption, a few were caught off guard as trains were delayed up to 20-30 minutes. The CR undertook the mega block to facilitate platform widening works at Thane and CSMT.

Pradeep Kadam, who regularly takes the local from Thane to reach his mutual fund office in Mumbai, said that he leaves daily at sharp 9.30am. On Thursday, he had an appointment with a client in Prabhadevi, but couldn't reach on time due to the mega block. He felt, “The widening of platforms should have been done between Saturday and Sunday when many offices have holidays.” Shrikant Dudake, who is an IT engineer in a Mumbai-based company, had worked in Thane. He was delayed by around 30 minutes to reach the office. “I didn't know about the mega block,” he lamented.

However, Advocate Girish Patil, who practices in Thane court, said that he lives in Bhiwandi and travels to court via Kalyan. He said that Thane's platform 5 needs to be widened. Extending support to the mega block, he exclaimed, “Excellent work is being done by the CR.” Umesh Kadam, another commuter, said, “Due to the mega block, there was heavy rush in the train. I informed my friends and colleagues that if anyone wants to travel from Thane to Mumbai, they should be cautious.”

A CR official said, “A 63-hour mega block for the widening of platforms 5 and 6 (in Thane) started from Thursday midnight, while a 36-hour block for the works related to the extension of platforms 10 and 11 (at CSMT) kicked in from Friday midnight." Bhimrao Povarkar, an engineer overseeing works at Thane, said, “A total of 500 workers, including 15 civil engineers, are engaged on the site. Five poclain and JCBs each are being used on the platform to move and install over 2,000 (cement) blocks.” The platform 5 work will be completed on Saturday night as labourers are working in three shifts, he added.

Thane's platforms 5 and 6 will be widened by 2-3 meters. Apart from the local train services, long-distance trains will also be hit. The CR has appealed to commuters to avoid travel if not necessary.

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