Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 | Last Update : 08:53 PM IST

Western Railway axes Diwali bash in wake of tragedy

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARPIKA BHOSALE
Published : Oct 6, 2017, 2:43 am IST
Updated : Oct 6, 2017, 2:44 am IST

The WR usually sees these programmes held in Mumbai Central as well as at the staff quarters in Budhvaar Park at Colaba.

All WR offices will wear a sombre look. (Photo: PTI)
 All WR offices will wear a sombre look. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: The Western Railway (WR) has officially called off its Diwali celebrations in Mumbai in honour of the 23 victims who succumbed to the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station on September 29. Officials have said that the cultural programmes that are usually held at Churchgate and Mumbai Central will be cancelled and the practice of lighting up the hallways of the offices during the festival has been called off.

All WR offices, including the Churchgate building that is WR’s headquarters, will sport a sombre look when most of Mumbai will be celebrating Diwali come October 19. Senior WR officials have told their staff that the offices in Mumbai Central especially, which house Mumbai division personnel, should not be extravagantly decorated like they usually are, during the festival every year.

A WR official said, “We realise that the city is almost in shock since the stampede. Most of us have been working non-stop since the tragedy and felt that the circumstances in the city are such that we cannot go ahead with the usual Diwali celebrations. It’s just not something that we would like to be a part of.”

The railways also has a cultural wing that normally organises programmes like songs, skits and a get-together to celebrate the festival of lights every year.

The WR usually sees these programmes held in Mumbai Central as well as at the staff quarters in Budhvaar Park at Colaba.

Another WR official said, “There will be no crackers burst in our offices. Mostly our staff does this and we don’t mind because it’s Diwali but this year we are going to keep it simple to a puja and go home with our families.” The official further added, “The fact is that we used that bridge when we were young officers, our kids use it to go to work, schools and colleges too.”

The WR officials also had to contend with a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) rally held right outside their offices at Churchgate.

Tags: western railway, elphinstone road stampede