MUMBAI: Thane has emerged as the most crowded station followed by CST in Mumbai across all the three suburban routes in Mumbai. On Western Railway, Andheri witnessed the highest footfalls in a day.
The findings of the survey by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) came as a surprise as CST, Dadar and Churchgate were conventionally considered to be the most crowded. MRVC managing director Rakesh Saksena told RailNews, “A total of 37 stations were surveyed, including 13 on WR, 14 on CR and 11 on the Harbour line. The exercise was carried out by 250 people, who counted the number of passengers for 14 hours on a working day.”
Thane handles as many as 6.54 lakh passengers daily. Every day, more than 1,000 trains pass through Thane, which has 10 platforms catering to two corridors each for the fast and slow tracks and the Trans-harbour network. As many as 55-60 long distance trains halt at the station.
CST still accounts for several footfalls with 6.36 lakh commuters, followed by Kurla and Kalyan with 3.81 lakh and 3.60 lakh passengers daily. Other crowded stations on CR are Dadar with 2.90 lakh passengers followed by Dombivli with 2.83 lakh passengers.
On the Harbour line, Vashi handles 2.34 lakh passengers followed by Belapur with 1.82 lakh passengers and 1.73 lakh passengers at Chembur.
Andheri registered 6.04 lakh passengers, the highest for any WR station, followed by Churchgate and Bandra with 5.05 lakh and 4.91 lakh passengers respectively.
Saksena said, “The extended suburbs of Virar and Nalasopara also registered high footfalls, surpassing major stations like Borivli and Dadar.”
Virar had a footfall of 3.95 lakh, while Nalasopara had 3.25 lakh passengers per day. Comparatively, Dadar station (WR) had a passenger count of 2.87 lakh.
Shailesh Goyal, former member, National Rail Users Consultative Committee said, “Andheri will get even more crowded because of the interchange facility for the Metro, when it becomes operational. Not just the railways, the municipal corporation should also try to decongest areas outside stations for faster dispersal of commuters.”
Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liases Foras, a real estate consultancy and research firm said, “I am not surprised as both Andheri and Thane are major urban agglomerations, while housing is cheaper in Virar compared to other areas.”