The residents of Mumbai are feeling the winter chill as the temperatures have dipped to 30° C. With the rolling out of AC local train in the chilling winter, commuters recently wrote to Western Railways to turn off the AC in the train to avoid catching cold.
The much-awaited AC local train had its maiden run between Andheri and Churchgate on December 25. Contrary to the usual rush, the AC local was hardly crowded by the time it reached Churchgate—thanks to the air-conditioning within. The train, which originated from Andheri, was packed at the source station itself. However, by the time it reached Vile Parle, most of the passengers alighted due to the unbearable cooling inside the train.
About 90% of the commuters in the train abandoned the journey when it halted at Vile Parle. “It was getting very cold inside. Although we had warm clothes on, we could feel our organs getting numb. The AC temperature was tremendously low—easily around 27° C,” said a commuter who got down at Vile Parle fearing illness.
Officials employed at the Western Railways investigated the matter after receiving several complaints of extreme cooling inside the train. They monitored the temperatures in the trial run they took wearing thermals. “It is cold here. We’re considering to increase the temperature to anywhere between 35°-40° C for a chilling ride,” said an official during the inspection.
As a measure to provide a cosy ride to commuters, Western Railways has also proposed to install heaters in the local train during winter. “It is known that the temperatures in Mumbai may dip to an extreme 25°C during winters. To ensure that the passengers do not catch cold, we will install heaters until summer finally sets it,” said a Western Railways spokesperson.