The Railways has arranged for 24 staff workers, constant announcements, appropriate indicators and heavy bandobast at stations to ensure that office-goers on the transharbour corridor do not face any issues on Monday when the first air-conditioned local train of Central Railway (CR) begins regular operations. The move comes after the first commercial run of the train on Friday threw services out of gear throughout the day.
To ensure that the automatic doors close well within the 20-second halt at each station, two railway staff workers will be present inside each of 12 coaches, along with one personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and another ticket checker. Officials have also decided to have constant announcements.
On Friday, when the train began its first commercial run, the indicators on the platforms did not highlight that the train arriving was an AC one. It led to great confusion and passengers without valid tickets boarded the train in large numbers. The coaches were overcrowded and doors obstructed by passengers as a result, due to which the train got detained for over a minute at every station. It had cascading effect on arrivals, which also led to overcrowding on platforms.
To avoid a repeat of the situation on Friday, all major stations such as Thane, Neral, Vashi and Panvel will be manned by additional 20 staff workers and supervised by a senior inspector. Indicators are also being put up to reflect the arrival of an AC local train. K K Ashraf, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner for RPF on the CR, said, “Our staff has been instructed to prevent overcrowding, ensure punctuality and disallow ticketless commuters. We are doing our best to ensure that commuters do not face any problems.”
On Twitter on Sunday, the CR also appealed to passengers to not board trains without a ticket and to not block the doors.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer for the CR, said, “We did not book passengers on Friday but counselled them instead. We will urge them to follow rules and only board the train with a valid ticket, available as daily card ticket, a weekly pass, a fortnightly and a monthly pass.”
The CR will be operating 16 services regularly with three each during the morning and evening peak hours.
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