Mumbai central suburban train services were badly hit on Friday after angry commuters launched a protest against train delays at Badlapur station, reported Hindustan Times. As many as 5,000 commuters stopped two trains – one going from Thane to Karjat and the other, from Karjat to CST – prompting the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to put out an appeal on Twitter asking the angry mob to cooperate.
Commuters blocked the tracks, stopped trains and raised slogans against the Central railway administration, reported mid-day. Long-distance trains were diverted to avoid the chaos, while services remained suspended beyond Ambernath in Thane district for hours.
A K Sing, public relation officer for Central railways, said, “A Karjat-bound local reached Badlapur station around 5.45 am, 20 minutes later than scheduled. It was stuck at a signal at a level crossing near Bhivpuri station. There was no technical snag. However, the commuters at Badlapur station halted the train and refuse to let it go.” The divisional railway manager will meet protestors to resolve the issue.
Rajesh Ghangav, president of Kalyan-Kasara and Karjat Passengers’ Association said, “Most days, we suffer taunts in office for being late because of the problems with the train. There are problems with the signals, snapping of overhead wires or technical snags, however passengers on this line are the ones who bear the brunt.” He said many coomuters from Karjat have demanded that the railway authorities give them in writing that trains will not be late henceforth.