Train to Mumbai beyond reach for many

Daily commuters from Nashik facing a lot of incovenience due to suspensioin of trains; the cost of reserved ticket is unaffordable for many

People who commute between Nashik and Mumbai face inconvenience as travel costs have escalated in the absence of adequate train services.

Every day, thousands of commuters from Nashik and Pune travel to the city for work, business or shopping. Most of them are employees who work with the Railways, Mantralaya, police or private companies.

“I travel every day from Nashik to Mumbai and used to take the Panchawati Express. However, after the state government imposed the second round of lockdown in April, the railways stopped the train,” said Dilip Gode, who works with the Mumbai Police.

Gode said that the Panchawati Express is the lifeline for those travelling between Nashik and Mumbai. After the railways stopped the service, they have to travel by Rajya Rani Express, the only train available now. The schedule of Rajya Rani Express does not suit the commuters who have to reach their workplaces in the morning and return home the same day, he said. Besides, it is very crowded, and at times, many people cannot board it.

“It’s not just about taking the Rajya Rani Express or another outstation train which travels to Mumbai, but as the seasoned tickets are closed, people have to buy a reserved ticket twice a day. Earlier, we had the option of booking the season’s ticket at Rs 750-Rs 800 a month, which was affordable for most people. Now, you need to spend Rs 250 a day on the ticket itself. This is nearly 10 times the earlier cost of travel,” said Sudam Shinde, a resident of Bhagur in Nashik, who works as an agent with the RTO.

Also, one can book a maximum of six reserved tickets on one phone number on the website, so we have to register through several numbers to get tickets, said Shinde.

Shinde said that booking a ticket was so difficult and expensive that many people chose to travel without tickets, even if they ran the…

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