Sanpada: The unhygienic condition of Sanpada railway station has disappointed commuters. But more pertinent are the complaints of women commuters that sex workers walk freely within the station premises at night making the area unsafe. While these complaints have been made repeatedly, they have fallen on deaf ears.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Sanpada ward office however, has now taken this issue to the City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and the Railways. MNS delegations have also handed over the complaints to CIDCO Chairman Pramod Hindurao and Railway Commercial Inspector Rajiv Ranjan in the hope that these issues will be sorted out soon.
Till recently, women commuters have been asking for a guard at the station premises in the hope of feeling safer. “We feel very uncomfortable in the evening when we return from work, as the area outside the station has several eunuchs and sex workers waiting for customers. They are also found near the bus stop, making us feel insecure while we wait for the bus, as the men who come looking for them are from various backgrounds”, said Ria Jadhav a resident of Sanpada.
Commuters have also complained that there are inadequate ticket counters and roofless platforms that have also inconvenienced them. “Out of the four ticket windows, only two remain open. During peak hours, this leads to a long queue. It is very inconvenient for us. We should be allowed to avail services offered to us. ATVM and coupon validating machines are also dysfunctional most of the times,” says Ravindra Lad, a resident of Sector 8, Sanpada.
As Sanpada station is close to the Sion-Panvel Highway and the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the usage of the station premises during peak hours reaches a new high. “The authorities have made provisions for us to buy tickets from a few authorised shops near the station, but even these places have a queue. If all the windows are kept open, it will be easy for us,” says another commuter.
The MNS has issued a week’s notice to the authorities to institute a change and has also stated that if commuters are still be being affected, a protest will be held by the party under the leadership of Thane District Samparka president Girish Dhanukar and Navi Mumbai city president Gajanan Kale.