Secunderabad: Commuters on the Secunderabad-Lingampally MMTS route could just not believe their eyes when the local train chugged into Platform No. 6 at the Secunderabad Railway Station at sharp 9.44 a.m., the scheduled arrival time, on Wednesday. There was a reason for their astonishment. The train had never kept time before.
By the way, Wednesday was not just another day. South Central Railway (SCR) General Manager P.K. Srivastava, who had taken charge last month, was on the train.
“I am not at all happy with the services we are providing to our MMTS commuters. When I interacted with passengers, they clearly told me that the train never arrived or departed on time. We will give top priority to commuters and punctuality,” he said.
On security of women passengers, the GM was candid. “Just one guard is not enough. We need to increase the presence of railway police personnel in the ladies compartment. Security and punctuality are our main concerns. Why will the suburban commuter use MMTS if we do not maintain proper time?” he wondered.
Sharing his experiences in managing suburban trains in Mumbai, he said: “We handled close to 80 lakh passengers on a daily basis in Mumbai. We used to operate the trains with clockwork precision. We will draw from that experience and improve MMTS timings in such a way that commuters can match the time on their watch with our arrival and departure timings.”
The disgruntled passengers were vociferous. “MMTS trains frequently get delayed by over an hour on the Secunderabad-Lingampally stretch. There is also a need to post additional police force in the ladies compartment to discourage men from entering. Punctuality and security are very important,” said Bhargavi, who commutes between Secunderabad and Hi-Tech City.
Mr. Srivastava also acknowledged the challenges in connecting MMTS and RTC buses. “The minute commuters walk out of the station, buses should be there waiting for them. We will hold discussions with the departments concerned to address all these issues,” he promised.