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Wed Nov 21 11:56:46 IST
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Blog Entry# 3474878
Posted: Jun 01 (07:40)

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ML/Mumbai Local

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Entry# 3474878   News Entry# 339087         Tags   Past Edits
Don’t believe it when Central Railway says a train was cancelled due to “technical problems”
On May 27, for instance, ten Main Line and 14 Harbour Line services were cancelled due to “shortage of motormen”.
Over 40 Central Railway suburban trains were cancelled in the past five days because there were no motormen to run them, but every time the official reason given for the cancellations was ‘technical problems’.
to Central Railway sources, the suburban section currently has nearly 20 per cent of the total motormen’s posts vacant. The division currently has 690 motormen against the sanctioned strength of 898.
While Divisional Railway Manager, Central Railway, Mumbai division, Sanjay Kumar Jain on Wednesday denied any shortage of motormen, a copy of motormen register clearly states “acute shortage of motormen” as the reason for a majority of cancellations.
For instance, 10 Main Line and 14 Harbour Line services were cancelled on May 27 due to “shortage of motormen.”
On May 25, 10 services were cancelled for the same reason, while the number was two, five, and three for May 26, May 28, and May 29 respectively.
Every cancellation in peak hours increases the crowd in the next train by over 4,000 commuters. In nonpeak hours, the load on the next train goes up by nearly 2,000 commuters.
A 12-coach local during peak hours carries over 5000 passengers against its capacity of around 2,000. Having run out of terms to describe the peak hour rush, the railways coined a new expression a few years ago -- super-dense crush load. What it basically means is 16 people are crammed in just one sq mt of compartment space. In 2017, 654 passengers died and 1,434 injured across the city’s entire suburban network after falling off crowded trains.
Sources said motormen going on leave during the summer holiday season has only accentuated the crisis. “Several motormen are on leave and those who are working often refuse to do overtime. Almost every day, services are being cancelled because of this,” said a motorman who did not wish to be identified.
While Jain promised to look into the situation, he said he does not see it as a major crisis. “In one year, we have increased 72 services, which are running daily. If I did not have adequate crew, I would not have been able to run these services. I am not aware of what may have happened on a given day. I will have to check. We will enquire into any cancellation of services. I do not find any reason for alarm. We have not cancelled any train on account of motormen. We are inducting more motormen soon,” he said.
However, there are others within the Central Railway who see the cancellations as a cause for worry. A notice board put up by the Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh in the CST lobby points to the cancellation and questions why there is such an acute shortage of motormen in Mumbai.

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