CR services resume after Railway police disperses crowd at Badlapur station
Five hours after commuters staged a ‘Rail Roko’ at Badlapur station, bringing the Central line to a halt, local train services have finally resumed.
According to Senior PRO of Central Railway, the services resumed at 10:55 am. While both up and down services between Karjat and Ambernath have been restored, it might take a few more hours for the services to completely normalize.
The protest started around 6 am on Friday morning following a 20 minute delay of the Karjat-CST train. The local was reportedly delayed due to a signal failure at Bhivpuri.
After the train arrived, a small number of commuters started protesting over the increasing number of train delays on the route. But, the thought echoed with hundred others, who joined the protest subsequently. Within minutes, it had blown into a full fledged agitation.
The passengers stopped both up and down trains from plying from the station and started shouting slogans against Central Railway. The primary point of contention was CR’s inability to run services on time.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu also took note of the situation and requested commuters to end the agitation, assuring a prompt resolution.
However, commuters have asked for written guarantee from the railway authorities that the train will not be late henceforth.
Central Railway’s Divisional Railway Manager had reportedly visited Badlapur station to talk to protesters in a bid to pacify them and restore the services, but at the moment it is not clear if a conversation transpired.
Railway authorities had sought help from both Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) to help disperse the crowd.
Owing to the protest, even rickshaw drivers outside Badlapur station started demanding exorbitant rates. One commuter complained of a driver asking for Rs 200 for a ride from Badlapur to Ambernath.
Everyday, thousands of commuters from Badlapur travel to Mumbai for work or to attend college despite the tediously long travel time. But the constant delays have further added to their woes. According to one commuter, the delays have become extremely regular and things reached a tipping point on Friday, which led to the protest.
Multiple outstation trains had to be diverted via the Karjat-Panvel-Diva route and passengers were allowed to travel via outstations trains to reach the city.