FPJ campaign: Unwritten rules of alighting by train door blocking bullies

FPJ campaign: Unwritten rules of alighting by train door blocking bullies

On WR, alighting before Borivali in a fast local for Virar and before Mulund in fast locals for Kalyan/ Kasara/ Karjat during evening rush hours is ‘not allowed’; on CR, it’s unlikely that you will be allowed to alight at Kurla or Ghatkopar in a Kalyan/ Karjat /Kasara bound fast train during evening hours

Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, April 21, 2023, 11:24 PM IST
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FPJ campaign: Unwritten rules of alighting by train door blocking bullies | VGP

Mumbai: The Free Press Journal has been highlighting the menace of train bullies blocking doors of suburban local services during morning and evening rush hours. In the last few parts of the series, we have brought to light the opinion of experts and passengers on the width and design of train doors and the miscreants exercising their “territorial rights” against non-regular commuters. These reports can be accessed on freepressjournal.in.

Regular commuters interviewed by this newspaper on Friday said that there are “unwritten rules” that alighting before Borivali in a fast local for Virar and before Mulund in fast locals for Kalyan/ Kasara/ Karjat during evening rush hours is ‘not allowed’ by train bullies (or ‘bhais’, as they prefer to be called).

You will get mercilessly shouted at if you do not follow rules

“If you tell the foot-boarders that you boarded the train by mistake and don’t know the rules, you will get mercilessly shouted at. The situation might get worse if you argue,” said Mahesh Kamat, a Kandivali resident. He added that even in Virar-bound slow locals, alighting before Borivali is a tough job. There is also no such thing as ‘first let the passengers alight before boarding’. So, one side of the door is only for passengers lined up to deboard at the next station. 

Former railway security commissioner AK Sharma, who has worked with both zonal railways in the Mumbai division, said, “During my tenure, I have led several drives against habitual offenders. We encourage passengers bearing the brunt of such unwritten rules to report these incidents with the authorities.” He said it’s a very serious issue in the suburban section and sometimes gets extremely ugly.

They can smell a newbie from a mile: Commuter

Vishal Chavan, 34, from Dahisar said that new commuters don’t know these ‘rules’ and are therefore misguided by bullies for “10 seconds of fun”. “They can smell a newbie from a mile,” said Chavan, a chartered accountant by profession.

Raghav Kadam, 34, from Dombivali Titwala said that the problem exists on the Central line as well. It’s unlikely that you will be allowed to alight at Kurla or Ghatkopar if you have mistakenly boarded a Kalyan/ Karjat /Kasara bound fast train during evening rush hours. “So-called regular commuters will teach you a lesson the hard way and force you to travel up to Mulund or Thane,” he said.

Senior railway officials of Western Railway said that as per railway rules every passenger is free to board or alight as per her/his need. “If someone doesn’t allow you to alight at a certain station, report the incident with railway officials or the nearest Government Railway police station,” an official said.

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