MUMBAI: Railways have once again taken away a project approved to Bhopal Railway Division (BRD) by shifting passenger coaches of the Indore-Bhopal AC double-decker train to Mumbai. The train would now be only a shadow of the original train with 14 passenger coaches.
Facing poor response from public and acute shortage of passengers the double-decker train has been incurring losses ever since it was introduced.
According to a Railway Board instruction 10 passenger coaches and one power car bogie of the double-decker would be sent to Mumbai on Thursday while the current train would ply with only four passenger coaches and two power car bogies.
Member of the board, Devi Prasad said, “Not many passengers are travelling in the AC double decker train. Hence this decision has been taken.”
He informed that the 10 passenger coaches are being sent to Mumbai because on an average they remain empty. The coaches will be sent for maintenance at Mumbai after which the trial run is likely to be conducted between Mumbai and Goa by the Konkan Railway which has to be cleared by commissioner railway safety (CRS) Chetan Bakshi. Also, Konkan railway officials are in the loop.
Piyush Mathur, CPRO Jabalpur confirmed that 11 coaches have to be sent to Mumbai on the directions of the Railway Board.
The coaches were to be sent on Wednesday but, due to some technical glitch in the power car bogie, it was delayed for Thursday. The maintenance of the 11 coaches was held day long at the Habibganj coach depot on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the shifting of the coaches to Mumbai is being protested by various sections here.
Govind Goel, member of National Railway Passenger Amenities Committee from Bhopal said that he had previously written to the railway board regarding change of timings of the AC double-decker train and had also spoken to DRM Rajiv Chaudhary in this regard. The DRM had assured him that he shall take this up with the board and that the coaches will run here.
Sources informed that MP Kailash Joshi too is likely to take up the matter with the board officials so that the timing and the fare of the double decker could be changed.
The Habibganj-Indore and Bhopal-Indore AC double decker trains were inaugurated by Union minister of state (MoS) for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury with much fanfare on September 27.
With 14 coaches, the passenger carrying capacity was 120 seats per coach. Now instead of 1680 seats, the train would have 480 seats.