Mumbai, Dec 9: Over three million Western Railway commuters will mark World Human Rights Day Monday (Dec 10) with an unprecedented mass protest - a voluntary "boycott" of the local train services for the day to demand increased frequency of trains.
The move has been openly supported by all national, regional and local political parties, social and commuters' organisations, and more than 1,000 co-operative housing societies.
The 25 km-long target is between Dahisar (the last suburban station on Mumbai side) and Virar (the last station in adjoining Thane district), the northernmost sector in Western Railway (WR)'s 60 km-long suburban section.
The suburban sections, comprising WR, Central Railway and harbour lines are the lifeline of Mumbai and carry nearly eight million commuters to and from homes and offices daily.
The main demand is to introduce a service every 5 minutes instead of the present 10 to ease the crowds, deploying new rakes (trains) on this section and opening the Vasai-Diva link (which connects WR to south India) for suburban trains.
While many like S.S. Raju of Bhayander or teacher Rehana Maqbool of Vasai have decided to stay at home, hundreds of thousands other commuters are chalking out alternative plans to go about their routine.
Monday's proposed 'boycott' promises to be different from other similar agitations in the past which went out of control and turned violent, resulting in losses of millions of rupees to railway property in addition to human casualties.