The Central Railway today announced that it would not be increasing its services on the Kalyan-Karjat routes which comes as bad news for 6-8 lakh daily commuters.
The Kalyan-Karjat route connects Mumbai’s Metropolitan Region and even neighbouring cities of Pune and Nashik.
Moreover, the CR authorities won’t be able to operate additional AC locals and open new stations as well. These are the demands of the local passenger associations to which CR responded through a letter.
Sources said that any augmentation in services will take place only after yard remodelling at Kalyan, and the construction of two new rail lines on the Kalyan-Asangaon and Kalyan-Badlapur sections.
There are currently two lines on Kalyan-Karjat and Kalyan-Kasara routes that are used by suburban locals, mail express and goods trains.
A response to the letter by the Central Railway on June 6, stated that presently 152 services run between Kalyan-Kasara and 242 services operate on Kalyan-Karjat sections. “Further increase in frequency is not feasible at present,” mentions the letter.
Every day around 6-8 lakh people which is almost 20 per cent of the total ferried by Central Railway at this point in time, travel all the way beyond Kalyan from the two sections.
Over the years, the number of people staying in areas like Titwala, Asangaon, Ambernath, Badlapur and Karjat has gone up substantially and so have the commuters taking the local trains.
This has led to the demand for new railway stations on both these routes. For instance, the passengers are demanding local rail services in Guravli on the Kasara line and Chamtoli on the Karjat line.
However, sources in CR said that the opening of proposed new halt stations has a lot of practical constraints that will not only have adverse effects on the average speed of trains but also increase travel time and result in the cancellation of suburban trains.