Chain-pulling incidents on long-distance trains are behind Central Railway (CR) trains running late during rush hour, said officials.
CR officials concede that since the onset of summer peak season, at least 20 to 25 suburban services run behind schedule daily, said CR officials. “There has been a huge rush on platforms at CST, LTT and Kalyan to board trains, especially those heading towards North Indian, Kokan and Goa. It has been observed that a passenger fails to board a train due to overcrowding in compartments and on platforms,” said a senior CR official.
There have been instances when passengers indulge in Alarm Chain Pulling. The official said, “Most of the incident occurs at CST, LTT or Kalyan. AS a result, the trains gets held up, because of which the train scheduled to leave behind the affected mail/express train also gets held up.”
So far, number of ACP case registered in March and April stood at 134 and 135.
“Fifty-four cases of chain-pulling were registered till May 12. Of these, passengers had a genuine reason to halt the train in only 20-25% instances,” he added. The official said, “In more than 50 per cent of cases, the actual reason for chain pulling in not known as the offender cannot be identified. In suburban train, most of the ACP cases are originate from compartments reserved for handicap commuters. In Long distance trains, the cases are in general as well as reserved classes as many failed to board the train due to late arrival at stations.”
The Railway Protection Force wants the administration to reduce people crowding on platforms due to ensure quicker entry and exit of passengers. “One measure that needs to implemented is stopping the sale of platform tickets,” said an RPF officer.
A total of 11.65 lakh people bought ticket in 2012-13 compared to 9.55 lakh in the preceeding year.
CR runs total of 1,600 services daily, including long-distance trains, from Mumbai. “A chain-pulling incident will delay a train by five to 10 minutes. The loss of time is significant at Suburban trains in Mumbai run at frequency of 4 minutes. A delay of 10 minutes can have cascading effect on other services too.”