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Apr 2, 2014
Pune (PUNE): Things are not looking good for the Pune railway division this year. In a recent survey undertaken by the division, the findings revealed a drop in passenger footfall, as compared to last year’s results.
Pune railway division offers two types of train services — suburban or local and long distance. The study shows local train passengers travelling within the 12 stations that fall under the division’s jurisdiction, have dwindled in the past year with a decrease of 0.5 per cent. As for the long distance trains services, the percentage of passengers has dropped by one.
These deteriorating statistics have surely raised an alarm for the railway board that is now planning to attract more passengers to keep their record intact.
Official speak: Speaking about the reasons behind this downfall, Divisional Railway Manager Pune Division Mr.Suneet Sharma said, “There can’t be just one reason behind this decline. Workers, who come to the city for jobs, have decreased in the past year, which has ultimately created a gap in the unreserved section on long distance trains. Overall there has been a slowdown in the industrial sector. Hence the transportation of workers and officials have also reduced from one part to another part of the country.”
Commenting on local passengers under the Pune Railway Division Sharma said, “We are trying to offer better services and facilities to our passengers who travel daily by local trains within Pune division.
Even though the railway fares have increased by 2.3 per cent in the last year, the public still prefers to travel via railways, as it is safe and relatively cheaper than other modes of transport.”
At present, there are six local trains from Pune railway station to Lonavala, and 140 long distance trains operating daily. More than two lakh passengers board trains from Pune railway division’s major stations — Pune, Chinchwad, Daund and Kolhapur.
Harsha Shah, president of Railway Pravasi Group said, “The frequency of local trains is not so efficient as seen on the Mumbai route, but people living in other areas like Shirwal, Bhosari, Saswad have no option but to opt for other modes of transport. A ring railway system can be the best option for people living around or on the outskirts of Pune city.”
He added, “There is a need for trains to connect to other major cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Jaipur.
People get frustrated when there are train delays, no availability of reserved seats. The public wants improvement in train frequency and schedules along with security.”
Number of local trains from Pune railway station to Lonavala: 06
Number of long distance trains operating from Pune station daily: 140
Number of passengers boarding trains from Pune railway division’s major stations – Pune, Chinchwad, Daund and Kolhapur : 02 Lakh
Etawah (ETW): About a dozen armed men shot at and injured three passengers on board the Sangam Express and decamped with cash and valuables here late on Monday night.
The robbers entered the sleeper bogey of the Allahabad-Meerut train after it halted between Bharthana and Ekdil railway stations, GRP Station Officer Yashpal Singh said on Tuesday.
As three medical students travelling in the compartment resisted, the robbers fired at them. The robbers looted cash, mobiles, watches and ornaments and fled after pulling the chain.
They also fired at the escorts, who opened fire to stop them from fleeing, the officer said, adding that the injured were later admitted to a hospital.
A case has been registered and investigations were on, he said.
Robbers loot Chennai Express passengers at Guntur
In an another incident, Robbers loot Chennai Express passengers at Guntur. A 10-member gang of robbers snatched gold jewellery, mobile phones and other valuables from passengers of the Hyderabad-bound Chennai Express in the early hours of Tuesday.
The incident took place near Tummalacheruvu railway station in Guntur district after security personnel got down from the train on completion of their duty at Piduguralla station. The robbers decamped with nearly 20 tolas of gold ornaments and two mobile phones, one iPad, clothes and handbags of women passengers worth nearly Rs 7 lakh.
About 10 masked youths entered sleeper coaches after bringing the train to a halt by pulling the emergency chain around 2.30 am. The youths then threatened passengers and snatched gold ornaments and electronic gadgets from them. The robbers even slapped some passengers who tried to resist. The criminals finished their ‘job’ quickly and jumped out of the train.
The robbers seem to have planned the loot perfectly as they stopped the train just 10 minutes after security personnel alighted.
The passengers said the robbers moved from one coach to another in a jiffy to finish their job quickly. They first entered S-5 coach and continued with their snatching spree in S-7, S-8, S-9, S-11, and S-12 coaches. One Harika of S-5 coach complained that the criminals snatched 40 grams of jewellery from her.
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