Unlike many in Mumbai, who would prefer living closer to railway stations, for around 150 families staying at a residential society in Khar, their proximity to both Bandra and Khar stations has turned into a torment.
Residents of Jai Bharat society — located at an equal distance from both the stations — said that honking by passing trains has not been an issue during the pre-lockdown times. However, over the last two months, after the local train services resumed to ferry essential service workers, honking by trains has increased so much that it is affecting their day-to-day life, they added.
While rail officials said that honking is aimed at ensuring safety and not irritating the residents, the latter maintained they are finding it difficult to go about their business as usual due to the incessant interruptions even though very few trains are plying.
The society residents have taken to Twitter, tagging Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and putting up videos of passing trains.
They have claimed that the trains, unlike the protocol followed during the pre-lockdown times, do not stop after one or two whistle but keep on honking while running between Bandra and Khar. Nikhil Desai (58), who lives in the society with his wife and daughter, said: “The honking continues for 15 to 20 seconds with each passing train.”
He added that as the stretch has two stations close to each other and also a level crossing gate, the trains would always honk once while passing, but it was never a problem earlier.
Another resident, Atul Shah (60), a doctor, said: “We can’t even listen to our patients on call because of it. It noise starts early morning and is more than 100 decibels.” While residents have been assured on Twitter that their complaints would be looked into, officials from Western Railway (WR) called it a routine affair. Chief PRO of WR, Sumit Thakur, said, “Whistling is as per norm while entering and leaving the stations.”
WR officials said these are routine safety drives to cross-check speed and ensure safety. “Honking is not to bother anyone but just to ensure the safety of the train,” said an official.
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