Railways have provided an Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP) option in Suburban and Mail /Express trains for use during emergency purpose only. Of late it is seen that passengers are resorting to ACP for frivolous reasons like arriving late, alighting/boarding at intermediate stations etc.
The act of ACP in train not only affects the running of that particular train but also has a cascading effect on the trains that follow behind. In a suburban system like Mumbai Division, this results in late running of Mail / Express and suburban trains hampering its punctuality. Further the misuse of ACP for the convenience of one or few passengers ends up causing inconvenience to all other passengers.
Central Railway Mumbai Division is keeping a close tab on such unreasonable ACP incidents. During the current calendar year from January to October 31, 2021 Central Railway Mumbai Division registered 1,608 cases of unreasonable ACP cases. Out of these, about 1,381 passengers have been prosecuted realising a fine of Rs. 10.06 lakh.
Most of the incidents took place on long-distance trains, but local trains were disproportionally affected owing to their higher frequency. On average, 10 local trains and three to four long distance trains were delayed every day because of unnecessary chain pulling of the trains in the CRs Mumbai Division.
" The main reason why emergency chains were used frivolously is that people who were in the train to drop off a friend or relative were unable to disembark in time" said a senior officer of CR, adding that Pawan Express from LTT to Darbhanga, Kamayani Express from LTT to Varanasi, and the Godan Express are most affected trains. Some trains of Konkan routes are also witnessing the frequent stances of un- nessarry chain pulling.
"As per the Indian Railways Act, pulling the emergency chain without a valid reason is an offence and attracts a jail term of three years, or a fine up to Rs 1,000. Once the chain is pulled, the train has to be detained, and the delay affects other trains on the stretch. In a way, offenders are harassing other passengers" added CR officials
Conferming the development Shivaji Sutar, Chief public relation officer of CR, said, "Passengers should refrain from pulling the chain if there isn’t a genuine reason. One could approach the travelling ticket examiners, the RPF, other fields personnel of railways and coach attendants to address any issues that may arise in the course of a journey,”
"Every time the chain is pulled in Mumbai, it results in a minimum delay of five minutes. At peak hours, a held-up rake can cause all following trains to back up, and the delay multiplies, inconveniencing thousands of passengers,” further added Sutar, who also known as one of the efficient officer of CRs train operating department.
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