Commuters upset with Central Railway’s block ahead of Diwali festival

THANE: Commuters traveling from the city to Navi Mumbai’s APMC and dry fruit market were a harried lot as the Central Railway began its traffic block from October 28 to November 2. The block is being carried out on both lines of the Trans-Harbour route between Thane and Turbhe from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

“I usually purchase dry fruits from the APMC market a week before Diwali. I travel at noon as the trains are less crowded at this time. However, the CR authorities scheduled a block at the last minute, which left us in the lurch. I had to hire a taxi due to the block and ended up paying more,” said Sanjay Desai, a local resident.

The block was carried out on the Down line after the departure of Thane-Nerul local at 11.28am and on the Up line after the arrival of the Panvel-Thane local at 11.58am. Due to this, 20 suburban trains on the Trans-Harbour line were cancelled.

“We usually purchase dry fruits from the APMC market a week before Diwali to gift our friends. We travel during the afternoon time as there is not crowding during this time. However, this time the authorities scheduled a block at the last minute and we had to hire a taxi,” said Sanjay Desai, a city resident.

With no traffic operating, commuters are forced to look for other options. “The buses don’t run frequently to Panvel and I had to opt for a MSRTC service which isn’t very comfortable,” said a female commuter. “The trains are the fastest mode to travel to Navi Mumbai. They could have undertaken these blocks during the night to minimize our inconvenience. As is they block almost all our Sundays,” said an irate commuter.

According to a railway official, the block is started on the down line after departure of Thane – Nerul local leaving Thane at 11.28 am and on the Up line after arrival of Panvel-Thane local arriving Thane at 11.58 am. Due to this, 20 suburban trains on Trans-Harbour line are cancelled.

The Thane-Vashi local leaving the city at 11.42am, 12pm, 12.13pm, 12.35 pm, 1.00pm and 1.27pm; Thane-Panvel local leaving at 12.07pm, 12.50pm, 1.13pm and Thane-Nerul local leaving at 12.22pm will remain cancelled on the Down line. In the Up line, Vashi-Thane locals leaving Vashi at 11.25am, 11.39am, 12pm, 12.22pm, 12.50pm, 1.20pm, Nerul-Thane local leaving Nerul at 11.39am, 12.08pm, 1.02pm and Panvel-Thane local leaving Panvel at 12.13pm will remain cancelled.

Commuters were affected badly as they had no option but to use other modes of transport.

“The frequency of buses running between Thane and Panvel is not up-to-the- mark. But I had no option but to catch a bus,” said Shalini Patel, an HR professional.

Commuters using this line can travel via the Harbour line or main line during the block.