Mumbaikars host novel train boycott

Mumbai's local train commuters are a harried lot, but on Human Rights Day they've launched a unique protest to highlight their demand for more trains.

Monday saw empty trains leaving Virar Station at rush hour. It is one of the busiest in the long line of stations on the western railway, stretching from the north right down to Churchgate, Mumbai's business district.

This 12 hour ''boycott'' of the local trains was a protest by the commuters to highlight their troubles in the hope that the city administration is listening to them.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed inside Mumbai's local 2nd class that is normally jam-packed.

The demands were not new, trains every 5 minutes instead of the present 10 minutes in order to ease the crowds and deployment of new rakes trains on this sector.

This style of agitation called by a Left-backed association, Prabhas Adhikar Andolan Samiti, claimed they had the support of all parties.

Life clearly isn't a smooth ride for passengers. Five lakh commuters use the trains between Borivli and Virar daily with 16-18 commuters crammed in one square metre of standing space on this sector.

The Railways and the state administration have been continuously making promises to improve the services, but they all seem to be only on paper and not in actuality.


anks said...

Did it help??? I wonder....

Ricky said...

Very interesting and very much Gandhi-giri style but yea did it really help as Anks points out. I was surprised to learn that about 200 people die every year from train related accidents in Mumbai and still the administration is so unsympathetic to their needs. I think if Mumbai wants to be like Shanghai or NY, it would need world class transportation system like Delhi recently got with Metro.