Mumbai: Angry commuters take to the tracks over train turmoil

The lack of clear communication and timely assistance from Central Railway resulted in a rail roko protest by passengers at Diva station on Sunday, causing disruptions to mainline traffic for nearly an hour. Commuters complained about the complete mismanagement, insufficient information and lack of help from the Railways, further complicating the situation following the earlier derailment incident.

A derailment occurred on Saturday afternoon, causing subsequent train disruptions and extended delays for passenger trains without access to food and water. This sparked protests from commuters at Diva station on Sunday morning. Officials were unable to provide a clear timeline for the normalisation of services as trains continued to line up on both the Konkan Railway and Central Railway lines.

The freight train that derailed in Panvel

“The Railways should maintain transparent communication with affected passengers. Today’s protest at Diva occurred because the Railways failed to provide clarity and communicate effectively about the entire incident, leaving passengers hungry and suffering,” stated railway activist Adesh Bhagat, who witnessed the incident.
After protests and chaos of no food, water and assistance, Central Railway, more than 16 hours later, began sharing images of food and water distribution to passengers and staffed help desks on its social media platforms.

“The trains came to a halt for over 16 hours. We were uncertain if we could safely get down in the darkness as the train started last night. In unreserved class, people stood, in reserved sleeper class, passengers could at least open windows, but AC class passengers suffered without air conditioning, water, and food. All officials kept promising it would resume in two hours, but now it has been more than 16 hours. We could see trains moving on the mainline. That’s why we decided to halt all trains,” said an angry commuter.

Another commuter added, “If the Railways were aware of the severity of the problem, why did they dispatch trains from CSMT? People endured suffering, standing overnight.”

“There was absolute mayhem at Panvel station, with trains waiting outside to enter the station. The station manager was absent from his post, and a ticket checker informed us that they were unable to reach him. It`s a mockery of passengers,” a passenger on Twitter.

Railway authorities reported that train services were affected for 45 minutes on Sunday due to passenger protests. “Due to the detention of the train, passengers of the 12133 express at Diva agitated, leading to disruptions in mainline traffic (CSMT-Kalyan route) from 9.05 am to 9.50 am. Mainline traffic was restored at 9.50 am after the protest ended,” stated CR officials.

The derailment occurred at Panvel railway station yard around 3.05 pm on Saturday, disrupting operations on the Panvel-Diva route. A freight train, transporting steel coils with 59 wagons, was en route from Dolvi siding near Pen to Meghnagar railway station in Jhabua district, Madhya Pradesh.

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