Thane: Women commuters have demanded an increase in the frequency of local trains to curb the crowd during the peak evening hours. The issue was put forth recently by the women commuters towards the Thane Railway Passengers Association.
Considering the needs of the commuters, the Central Railway has gradually increased the local services in last few months, amid the raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak. However, the long gap between the frequency of locals during evening hours are leading to a crowd of women commuters in trains.
"As the women passengers are allotted the afternoon (11 AM to 3 PM) and the evening (7 PM onwards) time slot for local train travelling, the maximum number of women are dependent on the local services while returning from their work place. Hence, the long gap between the locals leads to crowds, especially for the locals running towards the Thane, Kalyan, Karjat and Kasara," said Lata Argade, secretary of the Suburban Railway Passengers Association in Thane.
"I travel from Thane to Ambernath daily, during the peak evening hours, hence there are around 30 to 40 minutes gap between the long distance trains like Khopoli, Kasara, Karjat and Badlapur locals. This gap between the locals causes more rush, especially during the peak hours leading to more risk amid the pandemic, while traversing the locals," said Sangeeta Thakur from Ambernath.
"The crowd leads to violation of social distancing and other safety precautions. Hence, increase in the frequency will reduce the risk following the safety norms while traveling," said Nikita Jadhav, another commuter from Dombivli.
While the officials said that the frequency will be increased once the services are permitted to run normally like during the pre-COVID period.
"At present, nearly 90 percent of the services are being run by the Central Railway (CR). The frequency of the locals will be increased only after the situation gets normal, following the directions from the governement and concerned authorities," said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, CR, Mumbai.