Day 2: Megablock on CST-Wadala route sees total service shutdown
Mumbai : Lakhs of commuters of the Central Railway today faced hardship as the megablock between CST and Wadala stations on the Harbour line route entered its second day even as local train services on both up and down slow line have been completely shut for 48 hours.
The 72-hour megablock, which began yesterday will end at 1.30 AM on February 22.
The exercise, divided in two phases, is being undertaken by CR to install infrastructural facilities to accommodate 12-car trains on the Harbour line at CST.
The first of the block which operated for 24 hours did not see any trains plying from platform No.1 on the CST-Wadala route. Only 445 services as against the scheduled 590 operated on the route yesterday.
The second phase which began this morning at 1.30 AM, will witness complete shutdown on both Up and Down lines between CST and Wadala stations for 48 hours (Saturday and Sunday) before resuming services on Monday morning.
The Harbour line services will operate only from Wadala to Panvel and Andheri corridors for these days with CR permitting bonafide passengers to travel via alternate routes.
“We began the block yesterday and we have completed significant work during the first phase of yard remodelling at CST,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO of CR.
After this work is over CR will undertake the DC-AC conversion work from March onwards, he said.
He said services between Main line and Trans Harbour line were running normally. In addition, there would no routine mega block on Sunday and services would be run as per weekday time table.
Meanwhile, commuters are facing inconvenience in the peak hours since they have to frequently change trains to reach their destination besides running late.
A resident of Harbour line, Sunil Kamble said, “Its true that during both morning and evening peak hours, trains ran behind schedule and were overcrowded. But we had braced ourselves for the hardship as we are aware that once the work is over, we will benefit.”
After the block, Harbour line locals would be able to transport more passengers with 12-coach trains instead of those with 9-coaches, another passenger said.
To minimise the discomfort to passengers, special services are being run between Wadala-Andheri and Wadala- Panvel and Harbour line passengers with valid tickets or season ticket have been allowed to travel via Thane/Kurla/ Dadar on February 20 and 21, said Patil.
Also the transport wing of Mumbai civic body, BEST has decided to ply more services between Wadala to CST stations.
Creating additional infrastructure is a part of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which is being executed by Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and CR to ensure that 12-car trains begin operating on the Harbour Line by May this year.
CR has decided to engage 300 labourers along with its full fleet of officers to supervise and execute this work, another senior railway official said.
The Harbour line mainly operates between CST-Panvel, CST-Andheri and CST-Borivali railway routes.