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Following the flash strike on Friday when 200 motormen brought the city to halt, the Western Railway (WR) is planning to develop a contingency plan to tackle such events in the future. The suburban section of WR is working on increasing the number of reserved motormen who can operate the services in emergency. “These motormen work in car sheds or on other jobs on routine days. They can operate the services in an emergency, but at lower speeds,” said a senior official from WR’s Mumbai division. Currently, the WR has 70 reserve motormen in the Mumbai suburban section and 154 across the division, which includes Baroda, Ratlam, Valsad and Ahmedabad. “We have 400 motormen in Mumbai suburban section running 1,250 services daily. Therefore, having an equal number of trained reserved motormen is not possible, but their strength can be increased so that in an emergency we can run at least... Read more...
50% of the services,” added the official.Sandeep Silas, divisional railway manager (Mumbai Division) of WR said, “We are studying the issue in its entirety to prevent the reoccurrence of the agitation witnessed on Friday.” But consumer groups want the motormen reigned in at the same time. “This is fifth time suburban railways motormen have held the city to ransom in the past three years. It is high time that our judiciary takes serious view and inflicts exemplary punishment on the errant motormen and their leaders so that it acts as a deterrent,” said Dipak Gandhi, chairman of Mumbai suburban railway passengers’ association.