Office-goers bear the brunt of WR mega-cancellations - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Office-goers bear the brunt of WR mega-cancellations

ByJyoti Punwani
Oct 28, 2023 07:00 AM IST

Hundreds of passengers were inconvenienced on the first day of cancellations on Western Railway in Mumbai due to ongoing construction work. Commuters faced overcrowding and delays, with some having to wait up to an hour to board a train. Many office-goers struggled to reach work on time, resulting in late attendance marks. Commuters expressed frustration with the lack of consultation and planning for the construction work.

Mumbai: The first day of the mega-cancellations on Western Railway, as part of the ongoing work relating to commissioning a sixth line between Bandra and Goregaon, inconvenienced hundreds of passengers on Friday, most of all office-goers who struggled to reach work on time.

Mumbai, India - Oct. 27, 2023: Huge crowed at Borivali railway station during morning office time, The Western Railways on Friday has cancelled over 100 up and down local trains across various destinations between Churchgate and Virar on Mumbai’s Western Suburban Railway. These trains have been cancelled as it is undertaking mega block on October 27 in connection with the construction of the sixth railway line between Khar and Goregaon railway stations in Mumbai, India, on Friday, October 27, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - Oct. 27, 2023: Huge crowed at Borivali railway station during morning office time, The Western Railways on Friday has cancelled over 100 up and down local trains across various destinations between Churchgate and Virar on Mumbai’s Western Suburban Railway. These trains have been cancelled as it is undertaking mega block on October 27 in connection with the construction of the sixth railway line between Khar and Goregaon railway stations in Mumbai, India, on Friday, October 27, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

The inevitable crowding on the locals that were plying meant that some commuters had to wait an hour before being able to board a train. “People were scrambling to get into every train like it was the last one available,” said Sandesh Dhuri, who felt his chest and back compressed into one all through his journey from Jogeshwari to Churchgate. “What if someone got a heart attack? How will patients who have to go to hospital, pregnant women and the elderly manage?” he asked.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

Siddesh Dhawde normally leaves two hours in advance from Mira Road to reach his office in Santacruz. On Friday, two hours weren’t enough; he was marked late.

Santosh Mayekar is relatively lucky: he travels late, at 10 am, and either in first class or an AC train. On Friday however, though he left at his usual time, he could only reach at noon in a packed AC local. By then, two of his clients had already left.

Among all the commuters HT spoke to, only Shilpa had prepared for the disruption, which had been reported in the papers. She left home an hour earlier than usual to avoid the late attendance mark every employee dreads. However, she doubts she can keep this up till November 5. “I have two senior citizens living with me; I can only leave home after ensuring that their needs are looked after,” she said.

Most establishments allow their employees two chances to arrive late; the third time, a day’s salary is cut. That’s why a late mark at the end of the month is something every employee dreads. And in private companies, no excuse is tolerated.

“I’d informed my office I would be late,” said Vaibhav, who waited 45 minutes for a train. “But that doesn’t mean the rules change. Bosses just tell you to find your own solution.”

Mumbai’s permanently harried commuters also pointed out that taking buses instead of trains was impossible because of the ongoing Metro and road widening work in the suburbs. Incensed by the impossible situation, Shivaji Khairnar, social worker in Jogeshwari East, sent off a letter to the CM; Umesh Dhuri started a signature campaign in his office.

Almost everyone blamed the manner in which the city is being “developed”, without any regard for the common citizen. “Why are we never consulted when our taxes are used for ‘development’?” asked Prashant, who commutes from Borivli to Worli daily. “All the roads are dug up for the Metro, but will someone who pays 10 for a ticket from Borivli to Andheri pay 40 for a Metro ride? What use is a bridge to the person whose building is demolished for it, and who has to shift to a distant suburb?”

Khairnar pointed out that this is exam time for students. “As it is, this project is delayed. Why couldn’t the railways have planned it for the Diwali vacations so that a minimum number of commuters are affected?”

Sumit Thakur, chief PRO, Western Railway, however, said that this was the only window for the railways to complete the work. “This project was planned in 2008. It’s taken this long to acquire land and give satisfactory relief and rehabilitation. As soon as the monsoon was over, we started on October 7. It’s now just a matter of a few days. Postponing it to Diwali would have meant cancelling long distance trains.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 17, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On