Metro trial comes under railway safety commissioner fire

As soon as CM flags off the train,nearly two dozen persons hitch a ride without clearance.

Written by Zeeshan Sheikh | Published:May 2, 2013 1:25 am

As soon as CM flags off the train,nearly two dozen persons hitch a ride without clearance.

Violations marred the trial run of the city’s first metro line on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route with passengers being allowed on board without requisite clearances from the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

Nearly two dozen passengers,including bystanders,media personnel and police personnel,hitched a ride on the metro as soon as Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan flagged it off. Chavan,however,did not get on the train so as not to breach CRS rules.

“What happened is not permissible under the law. It is an act detrimental to passenger safety. Until the CRS gives its clearance,it is illegal to allow public to travel in the metro,” Commissioner for Railway Safety (Western Circle) B S Panchal said.

Panchal said during the trial run,only engineers and officials involved in the project are allowed to travel. He added that metro officials had not approached him for any clearance.

The train chugged along a 3-km stretch till Azad Nagar station and back to Versova with passengers on board. Interestingly,when it returned,it picked up a few more people on a 200-metre ride.

Officials of Reliance Infrastructure,which is building the metro,denied any violation. “The train never left the station premises,” a Reliance Infrastructure spokesperson said.

Meanwhile,Chavan said a part of the metro will be thrown open to public by September and the entire stretch will be operational by December.

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