Kutchhi traders, businessmen, residents and regular commuters from across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane gathered at a huge rally at Azad Maidan on Tuesday. 4th January 2011, to demand better rail connectivity and additional trains between Mumbai and Kutch.
A huge fleet of buses from various parts of the city brought in crowds to press for the demand for running the train on the Western Railway.
“There are just two trains connecting Mumbai and Kutch, and both have waiting lists running up to 400. It is high time that the railways introduced a third train,” BJP corporator Pravin Chheda said.
“There is also a demand for a halt at Vasai station for commuters’ benefit. We have shot off several letters and petitions to the authorities and also sent them formal requests,” Chheda said. He said that they were now petitioning railway minister Mamata Banerjee for the demand. Congress member of parliament Sanjay Nirupam also visited the rally and assured action.
“Both the trains that go to Kutch are always full and there has been an old demand for a train. As the railways are not paying heed, we were forced to organise this show of strength by way of a mass rally. We wanted to show that our demand is genuine,” Prakashbhai, a protester, said.
The traffic police in South Mumbai had a tough time, as the protesters’ buses disrupted movement on narrow roads.
WR spokesperson Sharat Chandrayan said that the railways would consider the demands. “There has been a demand for more trains on the route and we will examine it if running an additional train is feasible on the route. We will definitely positively look into the demand,” he said.
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mundra Port | Agency: DNA