Every day 10-12 commuters die in Mumbai due to overcrowding in local trains. This can be stopped by implementing cyclic timetable that can reduce passenger load on each local train by about 30% to 40% and also cut the travel time by 20% to 25%. Activist Samir Zaveri has started an online petition for this
Every day about 10 to 12 people die and 15-20 are injured while travelling on Mumbai’s local train network. This all can be stopped with a simple solution by using the cyclic timetable that can be implemented without spending a single paisa. With the Rail Budget round the corner, it is the time to make the commuters’ voice heard by the decision makers and by Members of Parliament (MPs) from Mumbai.
With this in mind, social activists Samir Zaveri and Dipak Gandhi, chairman of Mumbai Suburban Railway Passenger Association (MSRPA), have started an online petition requesting railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to implement the cyclic timetable on Mumbai’s local rail network. The petition is also being sent to all Members of Parliament (MPs) from Mumbai, including Milind Deora, minister of state, communications & IT and shipping, Sanjay Nirupam, Priya Dutt, Gurudas Kamat, Sanjay Dina Patil, Piyush Goyal, Murli Deora, Sanjay Raut, Tariq Anwar, DP Tripathi, YP Trivedi and Bharatkumar Raut.
Here is the link to the petition: https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/implement-cyclic-timetable-on-mumbai-s-local-rail-network-to-stop-deaths#share
After doing research and due diligence for years, septuagenarian Dipak Gandhi, chairman of MSRPA, and his colleagues have prepared a cyclic timetable, which can reduce passenger load on each local train by about 30% to 40% and also cut the travel time by 20% to 25% for long-distance commuters. The cyclic timetable also makes it possible to introduce 30% more services with the same number of rakes and tracks through super-fast and sector-wise services.
The suburban railway system in Mumbai is the most complex, densely loaded and intensively utilised system in the world and has the highest passenger density in the world—over 70 lakh commuters travel every day. During 2012, in Mumbai alone, around 3,541 people died while 3,808 were injured in railway accidents. This happens due to overcrowding of suburban or local trains. Specifically, a twelve-car rake carries over 8,000 passengers against its carrying capacity of 1,800, which leads to unbearably overcrowded trains during peak hours.
Traditional approaches of increasing capacity by increasing the number of coaches in rakes have not resulted in any improvement in the problem of overcrowding. The situation is further aggravated with frequent delays and uneven frequency of trains.
A simple mathematical analysis done by Rajaram Bojji, former managing director of Konkan Railway and inventor of the anti-collision device (ACD) also shows that the use of cyclic timetable can reduce the turnaround time for a local train by around 30% as well as waiting period for a commuter.
He said, “A commuter has to wait, skipping a train to board the right one. To some extent, the railway platform may carry a little extra number of passengers. Maybe it is better than crowding the train. There are other factors like percentage failure of signals, track conditions and maintenance of speed restrictions, unauthorised slums crowding the track sides forcing motormen to drive cautiously, which may deny the benefit. However, the idea is worth trying.”
Several activists like Zaveri, Gandhi, Gaurang Damani, Rishi Agarwal and NGOs like Moneylife Foundation and various passenger associations under the banner of “Coalition of Associations & Persons for Safe Rail Travel (CAPSRT)” have been requesting the Railways to follow the cyclic timetable on Mumbai's vast rail network.
The Indian Railways today is in a position to give not only safe but also speedy and comfortable rides to all its commuters from tomorrow, only if it redesigns its suburban timetable in Mumbai as per the principles of timetable construction laid down under the Indian Railways Act and its rules—and in conformity with today's traffic needs.
Read more about the cyclic timetable: Reduce halts to gain speed on Mumbai local trains, say experts
Act NOW. Sign the petition and help Mumbai save 10-12 human lives every day!