There is good news for people travelling on the Harbour line. The Central Railway (CR) is looking at increasing services on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) – Panvel Harbour line and has sent a proposal to the Railway Board for approval. This comes just a week after people went on a rail roko at Nerul station as the last train left early in the evening and there weren’t any more services after that.
The train services will be augmented first on Nerul-Kharkopar section of the Harbour line (also called as Fourth line).
On the other hand, the state government has been hinting that more people travelling in local trains is one of the reasons behind the rise in Covid-19 cases. The CR is currently operating 1686 services out of their total 1776 services. Of these, all the 858 train services on the Mainline are operating while on the Harbour and Trans-harbour they are running 574 and 246 services respectively.
But after the rail roko, the CR authorities have decided to increase the services on the Harbour lines further. “We will be running more services from Nerul. From the existing 8 services we intend to take it to 20 services for which proposal has been sent,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.
Sources said that in this pandemic the number of people travelling on the Main and Harbour lines is increasing which has touched almost 22 lakh daily commuters over the past few days. The CR officials stated that the likelihood of curtailing train services owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases is less.
“We have proposed to increase the services on Harbour line,” confirmed Shivaji Sutar, Chief PRO, Central Railway. On Friday, there was another problem on the Harbour line when a signal failure between Masjid and Dockyard Road stations led to disruption in services for two hours.
But by then the crowds at the railway stations began to swell. These are the people who are allowed to travel by local trains before 7 am, between 12 noon and 4 pm and after 9 pm only. The CR officials agreed that as the signals weren't functioning, the trains were delayed and there was more crowding than usual at the stations especially on the Vashi-Panvel belt in Navi Mumbai on the Harbour line.