Angry commuters block railway traffic in MumbaiFebruary 4th, 2009 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) Protesting commuters demanding better train services blocked suburban railway traffic on the western sector in Mumbai Wednesday causing inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of daily travellers.Several trains were either delayed or cancelled, according to a Western Railway spokesperson.
The protests were triggered during the morning peak hour when a local train was cancelled due to a technical snag causing commuters to react angrily, the spokesperson said.
As a result nearly a million office-goers, students and others were stranded, with many preferring to take the day off.
“Even before the alternative service could be announced, a group of commuters squatted or lay on the tracks, preventing train movement. The agitation is still continuing,” the spokesman told IANS.
He said the services are operated between Churchgate-Andheri on the southern side and between Virar-Bhayander on the northern side.
At least five long-distance trains, leaving Mumbai and Bandra Terminus, have also been cancelled.
Similarly, other long distance trains scheduled to arrive here have been stopped at various locations like Virar, Surat, Dahanu, and Palghar.
Until the situation normalises, the Western Railway won’t be able to plan out the departure of Wednesday’s Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express and August Kranti Rajdhani Express and other trains, the spokesperson said.
A commuter Z. Hussain, wanting to go to his office in Worli, was stranded for over two hours at the Borivali station platform.
“There are huge crowds on all the eight platforms, outside the railway stations on the east and west and even on all the bridges. It is difficult to even move around, and the police have been deployed in full force,” Hussain told IANS.
He added that even the roads were jammed with traffic in all directions, inconveniencing the people, especially women and children.