Railway budget draws mix reactions from Mumbai commuters

Mumbai, 25 (PTI) Railway Budget for the year 2011-12drew mixed reactions from Mumbai suburban commuters today.

To enhance the capacity of suburban services in Mumbai,Union Railway Minster Mamata Banerjee announced 47 additionalservices on Thane-Vashi, Thane-Panvel, Borivali-Virar,Andheri-Virar, Bandra-Virar and Churchgate-Borivali sectionsin the budget.

Banerjee also proposed to augment 107 suburban servicesin Mumbai, by converting nine-coach EMUs in to 12 coach EMUs.

Besides, there is no hike in fare. She has also proposedbuilding shelters for those living by railway tracks underSukhi Griha Scheme. Pilot phase of the scheme will beimplemented in Mumbai too.

Welcoming these provisions, commuters expressed happinessabout the unchanged fares and introduction of new trains.

"New trains and conversion of nine-coach trains into12-coach ones will reduce congestion. People were feeling thepinch of rising prices, it is a good thing that there isno hike in fares," Sayed Hakeem Sheikh, a commuter said.

Another commuter, Pramod Singh, said, "As dwellers alongthe tracks will be shifted, the number of casualties intrack-mishaps will come down.

Increase in frequency of long distance trains,concessions for physically handicapped and senior citizensare also positive things," Singh said.

However, some were unhappy with regard to passengersafety. It was felt that instead of promising new trains andconverting nine coach trains into 12-coach, Railways shouldincrease the speed of existing trains and focus more on15-coach trains. .

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