Angry commuters disrupt Western Railway services Local train cancellation sparked off the agitation

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Angry commuters disrupt Western Railway services Local train cancellation sparked off the agitation

Services on the busy suburban line of the Western Railway, where nearly 63 lakh people commute daily, came to a sudden halt on Wednesday morning after thousands of angry commuters blocked rail tracks demanding more trains from suburban Borivali to Churchgate.

The agitation sparked off when the railways abruptly announced the cancellation of a 9.10 am Churchgate bound fast local from Borivali. Thousands of protestors blocked the tracks and did not allow north or south bound services to operate from Borivali. Trains beyond suburban Andheri were also disrupted and many commut ers had to resort to alternative modes like road transport to get to their destinations.

According to Government Railway Police Commissioner (Mumbai) A K Sharma around 30 people, including 15 women, have been detained. Sharma said that they would be charged under relevant sections like rioting and destruction of railway property.

Commuters had to take to alternative modes like road transport to get to their destinations. State-run BEST provided extra buses to cater to people. Trains were operational in the Virar-Borivli section and Andheri-Churchgate section on the Western line, but the services were running very late. Five outstation trains were also delayed, railway officials said. "I had to take a rickshaw to get to my workplace since it was not clear when the protest would end," a commuter said. Actor and Congress MP from north Mumbai Govinda claimed that the "protests are motivated" as the number of trains had been increased on the line. "In the last five years, the number of train services on the western line have been increased considerably," he said. The WR had witnessed protests last year as well over services between the stations of Borivli and Virar with commuters demanding more trains to cater to the growing population.

According to commuters, the agitation was a spontaneous response to the problem they had been facing for the past one-year.

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Shri Ravindra Nath Verma has taken over as General Manager, Western Railway on 30th December, 2008. Shri Verma joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service on 19th December 1973. He is an M.Sc. in Statistics from University of Allahabad and M.A. in Transport Economics from University of Leeds, U.K.
Prior to joining as General Manager, Western Railway, Shri Verma was GM of Metro Railway, Kolkatta. He was also holding additional charge as General Manager, Eastern Railway.
During his distinguished career, Shri Verma held various important positions such as Additional Member (Traffic), Advisor (Infrastructure) at Railway Board and also key positions in the Zonal Railways such as Chief Operations Manager, Central Railway (Mumbai), Divisional Railway Manager, South Central Railway at Secunderabad. Earlier in his career he had held significant positions as Executive Director in Railway Board and Director in the Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India.

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