Mumbai being the Dream city of the country, there are numerous people flooding in here each day, which leads to daily rush on every sort of transport. Also with the progressing world, more and more number of women and young individuals are leaving homes to earn bread and all this capitulates into more and more jamming in the most approachable transport route of the city, that is Mumbai Railway Locals.
In the past couple of years, local trains have become so crowded that people have begun to just fall out of them. A 12-coach Central Line train during peak hours carries around 6,000 passengers against its capacity of around 2,000. Having run out of terms to describe the peak hour rush, the railways coined a new expression a few years ago- super-dense crush load. What it basically means is 16 people are crammed in just one Sq Mt of compartment space.
All the daily ordeal has led to locals coming up with their own solutions to fight the problem at hand. A bunch of commuters on the Central line have launched a campaign to ask seated passengers to not only spare the rack space for the bags of those standing but also offer to hold their belongings to create more standee space.
The brains behind the campaign- titled ‘Bag pakad, jagah bana’ (hold the bag, create space) – estimate that five to six bags occupy 4 sq ft, which in Mumbai’s crush hour is a luxury. Nishant Bangera, 26, who started the movement with a few of his friends, following initial resistance, the campaign has begun to gain acceptance now. Every passenger who agrees to join the campaign is given a badge which says- bag pakad, jagah bana.
Bangera’s group now has seven members and covers both the Central and Western lines. Bangera, wanting to expand the campaign now, has requested the railways to relay the ‘bag pakad, jagah bana’ message through the day on its public address system on all platforms.
However, more than the railways, the idea’s success hinges on its acceptance by fellow commuters. And Bangera and his friends seem to have made a good start. Ajit Tayade, 47, who works at Mantralaya, described Bangera and his friend’s campaign as an idea that is not going to cost a penny. “People just need to change their mindset. We can change the way we commute if we start thinking about each other’s convenience,” he said.