In a move that is expected to decongest the Parel station on Central Railway and benefit about 2 lakh commuters, the terminus will have 32 trains originating and terminating at Parel from Sunday onwards.
The inauguration of the Parel terminus also comes a year-and-a-half after a stampede on the foot overbridge (FOB) connecting the Parel station and the Elphinstone Road (now Prabhadevi) station on the Western Railway had claimed 23 lives.
The Parel-Elphinstone Road is the address of several businesses and leading companies working out of the many highrises that crowd the business district. As per the data received, the daily footfall at Parel station is nearly 1.80 lakh to 2 lakh.
Chief Public Relations Officer of the Central Railway Sunil Udasi said during peak hours in the morning and evening, commuters have to board chock-a-block train compartments as there are no local trains starting from the Parel station. However, from Sunday onwards, there will be 16 trains originating from Parel and 16 others, terminating at the station, he said.
A senior railway official said, “Parel station has become an increasingly important junction between the Central and Western lines. Considering the increasing footfall, it was planned to make a new suburban terminus for the EMU local trains at Parel for the convenience of our commuters.”
He added that since the stampede on the Elphinstone Road FOB, the railway ministry had made efforts to improve the entry and exit points at the railway stations.
“As part of this, three bridges have been constructed by the Indian Army. One connects Parel and Prabhadevi railway stations. The Parel terminus will help in managing the crowd at the station that swells during peak hours,” he said.