However, the reduction at Andheri is not as steep as compared to Churchgate and Dadar.
Mumbai: In the last six years, the number of commuters on the main stations of Western Railways (WR) has decreased due to rise in people migrating to far off suburbs. While Churchgate has seen 25 per cent reduction, Dadar has witnessed a dip of almost 17 per cent. The Railway official said, “As the more and more people move to far off suburbs, the crowd at major Western railway stations is reducing.”
However, the reduction at Andheri is not as steep as compared to Churchgate and Dadar. But nevertheless, Andheri station has seen a decrease in the number footfall by three per cent. Malad, which is two stations from Andheri, and Borivali too have seen fall in commuters by five and seven per cent respectively. However, the numbers of commuters at stations like Vasai, Nallasopara and Virar have increased by 5, 12 and 23 per cent respectively.
A railway official said that because of the decrease in the number of commuters on major Western railways stations, they have decided to invest around Rs 8,679 crores for Mumbai Urban Transport Project III (MUTP III) which will connect far off places. An official on the condition of anonymity said, “The push for the far off suburb connectivity has mainly been because of these statistics, we realised that almost a decade ago the numbers of commuters are decreasing at station like Churchgate and Dadar and the exact opposite is taking place on stations located in far off suburbs.”
Banking on the construction of MUPT III to begin soon, Commuter activist like Lata Argade has said, “The railway has been pushing for the projects located in the far off suburbs but I also hope that the work of the recently inaugurated MUTP III begins as soon as possible. The city needs these projects. The government must at least set the ball rolling.”