Mumbai: Fed-up with the constant delays and inadequate public transport buses plying at Virar ST depot, hundreds of office-goers created a ruckus at the entrance of Virar railway station on Monday morning. Irate commuters demanded train service to Mumbai. This is the second kerfuffle in the past two days and third in the past two months. Officials said the passengers were agitated due to buses running late and traffic snarls on roads.
All were non-essential staff who did not get any transport to commence their journey to Mumbai which forced them to gather outside the station on Monday. The RPF and local police pacified the protesters and dispersed them to avoid overcrowding.
Most of the protesters complained about the traffic jams on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway and the Dahisar toll naka. “The road journey is very difficult as it takes 4-6 hours to reach the office. The last option for us is to travel by local trains. It will save our jobs and money,” said an irate protester.
Sumit Thakur, chief public relation officer, WR said the RPF and local police handled the crowd peacefully. “All were the general public of Virar who staged protests. Their demand was to be allowed travel on local trains. The RPF and police dispersed the crowd within an hour,” he said.
On July 22, hundreds of commuters had got onto the railway tracks near Nalasopara and damaged railway property. The protesters demanded trains and adequate ST buses. Senior officials from the Government Railway Police (GRP) said that the passengers wanted to be allowed to travel on suburban local trains in absence of public transport buses at Virar ST bus. On Saturday night, some passengers attempted to enter Borivali station due to unavailability of public transport buses outside the station. Earlier on July 22, the passengers had done rail roko for the demand of allowing them to travel on suburban locals.
It has been more than five months since local trains have been suspended for the general public. The railway authorities had resumed suburban locals operation for essential and emergency services staffers from June 15. Later on employees of nationalised banks and several other government agencies were allowed to board the trains provided they all should have QR coded ID cards.