Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
File Photo

Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has slammed the Railways for raising queries about the state government’s proposal to allow commuters to travel on suburban locals in predetermined time slots.

Irked by the Railways' citing the need for such miscellaneous requirements as an apps for crowd management, Deshmukh said the Railway administration should not infuse politics into the decision but cooperate with the state government, as it will help commuters.

The Railways, in its response to the State government's proposal, had also raised issues of logistics, saying that police personnel would be needed to help the railway protection force in crowd management. Further, technology intervention was needed to regulate the entry of passengers at stations and also the recommencement of the UTS mobile ticket sale app, to curb crowds at booking windows.

The State government, Deshmukh said, has simply suggested certain time slots when general commuters can board these trains. This would lead to the passenger load being spread over the staggered time periods.

The Maharashtra government has also given the Railways the timings when the public could be allowed to use the services. The railway administration should cooperate with the Maharashtra government, the minister noted, and not politicise the issue.

The Railways have also put a safety rider -- that if Western Railway starts running 1,367 round trips, then only 9.60 lakh commuters will be allowed to travel. Likewise, if the Central Railway resumes all its round trips, then nearly 12.40 lakh commuters will be able to travel. This is against 35 lakh commuters on WR and 45 lakh on CR, in pre-Covid times.

Further, Railways have cited technical issues in running additional special trains for women commuters. At present, the WR is running six women's specials and the CR two, but both said introduction of more such trains would inconvenience other passengers.

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Free Press Journal