Thursday, October 9, 2014

Storm before the calm

Every evening, when the sun is about to set, platform no. 7 at Kurla station comes into its own. Without fail, the crowd grows thicker and the flow of trains grows thinner. What’s unmistakable though is that no other platform—during the aforementioned timeframe—comes remotely close to gathering people to such extent. None of those waiting for the delayed mode of transportation want to stand a minute longer than what the overhead indicator insists. But they are forced to. And this carnival carries on well into the night. It goes without saying that the lack of adequate trains on Harbour Line (HL) is steadily contributing to this peculiar mess. Speaking of which, only one heavy shower it took last week to remind HL of its place of significance in the pecking order. We wonder what really is going on in the planning room. With an annual growth of 9.22%, HL is probably India’s fastest growing suburban segment. But how exactly are the commuters benefiting from this growth? Fast trains are obviously out of question given the narrow bridge that connects Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. So when is the frequency of slow trains going to increase? Especially during rush hour when the people quite literally forget that they are human beings in order to get into the already jam-packed train compartments. A train line that brings two cities closer certainly merits an overhaul, if not in execution then at least in vision.

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