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Rail Roko: Commuters protest at Palghar, Saphale stations over change in timings

The 30-minute long protest took place at Palghar, Kelwe Road and Saphale railheads over the change of timings of Dahanu suburban train services from December 3.

Rail Roko: Commuters protest at Palghar, Saphale stations over change in timings
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On Wednesday morning, December 2, commuters of Mumbai local resorted to an impromptu rail roko protest after the Western Railway cancelled the first local train of the day.

The 30-minute long protest took place at Palghar, Kelwe Road and Saphale railheads over the change of timings of Dahanu suburban train services from December 3.

Western Railway’s Churchgate-bound local which leaves at 4:40 am will now depart at 5:40 am from Wednesday, December 3, while the Dahanu-Virar train will leave at 7:34 am instead of 5:40 am. However, the Virar-Dahanu and Churchgate-Dahanu trains will leave at 5 am and 9:10 am respectively. As a result, the essential services staffers, commuting daily complained that they will not be able to reach their workplaces on time because of this change.

Protestors said that changing the train timings by one to two hours will affect their travel schedule. Many commuters take the Dahanu-Churchgate train at 4.40 am in order to reach their workplaces for the first shift. They demanded that the trains should run at regular timing.

As a result of this protest, two long-distance trains and EMU trains were halted. Railway cops pacified the commuters who were moved away from the tracks.

However, suburban services have not been affected. All the trains continue to operate for essential services commuters during peak hours. Apart from that, women commuters (non-essential) can travel between 11 am and 1 pm and after 7 pm. Moreover, due to an increase in the COVID-19 cases in the city, the Maharashtra government and Railways has not given any clarity as to when they will allow the general public to commute in local trains.

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