Mumbai: Amid fear of losing job and to reach office on time, more than hundreds of office-goers staged a protest outside the Virar Railway station on Monday morning demanding local trains to Mumbai. According to the sources, the lack of adequate state transport buses is the main reason for the commuters to protest.
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. However, the protestors did not enter the railway premises and were handled by the railway police force (RPF) and local police to avoid overcrowding.
Most of the protesters were facing problems while commencing their journey by road, as they had to face huge traffic on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway and the Dahisar toll naka has added to the travel woes of office goers. Moreover it is costing more on their pockets to reach the office on time. “The road journey is very difficult as it takes 4-6 hours to reach the office and half of the time is wasted in the massive traffic we have to face on the highway. So the last option is left for us to travel by local trains which will save our jobs and money,” said one of the protestors. “Moreover the state transport bus at the nearby depot is not sufficient to take them to office,” he added.
Sumit Thakur, chief public relation officer, WR said it was the sudden incident which was handled peacefully by the RPF and local police. Moreover none of them entered railway premises. “All were the general public of Virar who staged protests and were demanding to allow them travel by the local trains. With the help of RPF and police the crowd was dispersed within an hour,” he said.
This protest comes after a month when commuters had protested at Nalasopara railway station demanding local trains. On July 22, thousands of commuters had got onto the railway tracks, damaged railway property, and were demanding trains. They had also protested against the lack of adequate state transport buses.
It has been more than five months since local trains have been suspended for the general public since the lockdown on March 22. As of now only essential services staff, state and Central government employees are allowed to travel by the trains. Those working in private firms cannot use the trains.