Pune: Commuters held up the Deccan Queen at Pune Railway Station for about an hour when it was departing for Mumbai, on Monday, demanding that the railway administration change the departure location of the train to Platform No. 1, as has been the case for decades. In February earlier this year, railway officials decided to change the departure location of the train to Platform No. 5.
According to the regular commuters, most of whom are monthly pass holders working in Mumbai and travel to and fro everyday, the decision of plying the reputed train from platform no. 5 is incomprehensible.
Jatin Bhavsar, a commuter, said, “When they announced the decision to ply Deccan Queen from Platform No. 5, they said it would only be for the summer and it will be back on the old platform by the end of June. However, it’s been a week since that deadline and no change has occurred. Since every passenger suffers, people are angry about this and hence they held up the train by pulling the chain.”
In February, railway officials had said the decision to shift the departure to platform no. 5 was taken after the authorities decided to attach an additional coach to several trains that previously used to arrive at platform no.1 including Jammutavi-Pune Jhelum Express, Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express and Patna-Pune Patliputra Express.
“These trains became 24 coach trains and will remain so until June 2017. Among the six platforms on Pune Railway Station, only Platform 1 has the capacity to host a 24-coach rake. The schedule of the Deccan Queen was going haywire in the morning hours when these trains arrive. Keeping this in mind, it was decided to depart the Deccan Queen from Platform No. 5,” a senior official said. Divisional Railway Manager BK Dadabhoy said that he was aware of the issue and will try to resolve it.
“We have to take care of everyone. We have to keep platform no.1 empty for long distance trains with 24 coaches. However, we are working on the issue and hoping to resolve it,” said Dadabhoy.