Around 400 employees working at Central Railway (CR) workshops protested on the tracks near Vidyavihar station on Monday evening after they had to deboard a special train catering to rail staffers due to overcrowding.
Around 5.30 pm, as a Karjat-bound train reached near Vidyavihar station, several agitated employees deboarded and stood on the tracks in protest.
A man, who had boarded the train from Matunga, said, “I was hanging near the door, as the train was completely packed. By the time it reached near Vidyavihar, there was no space for anyone else to enter. We are ready to work but at least the number of train services should be increased.”
The CR operats three train services as of now — at 4.30 pm, 4.45 pm and 5 pm — for employees from Karjat and Kasara. The chaos was reported in the 4.30 pm service on Monday.
“For the other two services, instead of normal EMU locals, engines of sleeper coaches are used. They usually take 30 minutes more than a EMU local to cover the same distance because of their slow pick-up. Hence, all employees want to board the 4.30 train,” said an employee.
In a statement issued after the incident, CR said the reason for stopping the service was being investigated. It added that considering the additional frontline and back-end staffers who are required to run the passenger train services that are being gradually restarted, Mumbai division will run more trains for essential railway staffers between 4.30 pm to 5 pm.
Venu Nair of National Railway Mazdoor Union said, “We have communicated on the need to run an additional train for the employees and the administration has promptly agreed.”
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