Mumbai: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the recent disruption of suburban train services in Mumbai.
On Monday, the services of Western Railway were hugely affected for nearly an hour following the power failure caused by theft of a battery box at Mahim station.
“Review of monsoon preparedness is being done at the highest level. Ensuring safe commute for the people is our priority,” Prabhu tweeted.
“We will explore not only reasons of disruption but also focus on remedial measures and act swiftly,” the minister said.
“Ordered time bound enquiry to come up with the causes. Disruption in Mumbai suburban has been taken up very seriously,” he said.
BJP Mumbai unit President Ashish Shelar, who met Prabhu in Delhi, on Wednesday said he was grateful to the minister for such a “huge commitment” to redress problems of local trains during rains.
Prabhu has informed that a Railway Board team is being sent to Mumbai to monitor situation, Shelar said.
Railway Ministry will also dispatch a Railway Board team to monitor the monsoon preparedness of Mumbai’s lifeline, the suburban train services, an official said here on Wednesday.
BJP city president Ashish Shelar on Wednesday met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and apprised him of the series of disruptions on Western Railway, Central Railway and Harbour Line in the past few days which have made life and commute miserable for over eight million daily commuters.
“The disruption in Mumbai suburban (services) yesterday has been taken up very seriously,” Shelar tweeted shortly after his meeting with Prabhu where he informed him of the frequent breakdowns in the suburban networks which hit city commuters hard.
He said besides sending a Railway Board team to Mumbai, Prabhu has ordered a time-bound enquiry into the disruptions in suburban train services in the past two days.
The minister emphasised that “ensuring safe commute for the people is our priority” and assured that not only would the reasons behind the disruptions be explored, but they would focus on remedial measures and act swiftly.
Pulling up the WR and CR authorities, Prabhu has directed the general managers of the two railways serving Mumbai suburban to conduct a time-bound enquiry, come up with the causes and report immediately.
Last year, Prabhu had uploaded the Twitter handles of all top officials of all railway zones in the country for public information and asked people to directly complain to them of any problems besides marking copies to him (@RainMinIndia) for proper monitoring at the highest level.
Mumbai’s commuters had a harrowing time in the past two days with consecutive disruptions on the WR on Monday due to theft of batteries and on CR due to water-logging in the inaugural monsoon rains.
Lakhs of people could not reach their places of work or offices in south Mumbai, students could not make it to their colleges or schools across the city, daily wage earners lost their day’s income while supplies of goods and services which are transported by suburban trains were also disrupted.
Western Railway evaluate Safety measures to protect Batteries
Western Railway is evaluating different ways in order to protect its 17 electric sub stations after recent battery thefts. Box of batteries worth Rs 2 lakh was stolen on Monday from Mahim electric sub station. Each battery was worth Rs 10,000 and 18 batteries were stolen from the sub station.
Some of the techniques which the Western Railway might induct include deploying the Railway Protection Force (RPF) or the western railway officials to the sub stations in order to protect the property. The Western Railway officials are also thinking to outsource the security of the sub stations to private companies or install CCTV cameras around all there 17 sub stations.
“We are looking at methods and techniques in order to secure our electric sub stations. This has happened second time and from the same sub station. We have not finalised on what method we will be opting but we are evaluating every possible network,” said a senior railway official.