Trains in Mumbai resume after hours of blockade (Lead)

February 4th, 2009 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) Trains in Mumbai resumed following hours of disruption Wednesday morning after some protesting commuters demanding better services blocked suburban railway traffic on the western sector causing inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of daily travellers.Several trains were either delayed or cancelled during the almost five hours of blockade, 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.

“Even before the alternative service could be announced, a group of commuters squatted or lay on the tracks, preventing train movement,” the spokesman told IANS.

As a result, nearly a million office-goers, students and others were stranded, with many preferring to take the day off.

However, he said the services are slowly moving to normalcy even though protesters were being cleared from the tracks.

At least five long-distance trains, leaving Mumbai and Bandra Terminus, were cancelled.

Similarly, other long distance trains scheduled to arrive here were stopped at various locations like Virar, Surat, Dahanu, and Palghar.

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.

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