First AC lo­cal train to be on tracks this De­cem­ber

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI: From De­cem­ber this year, sub­ur­ban rail com­muters may be able to take an air­con­di­tioned train to work and back.

The trial runs for the train will be­gin by next month.

The 12-car AC train is cur­rently at the Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) car-shed at Kurla for last­minute fit­tings.

“We were wait­ing for the in­duc­tor, which has ar­rived now. It will be fit­ted by the end of this month, af­ter which static and dy­namic safety tri­als will be con­ducted by Re­search De­signs and Stan­dards Or­ga­ni­za­tion (RDSO),” said Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) Gen­eral Man­ager (GM) Akhil Agar­wal.

Once they have been cer­ti­fied, the train will be in­ducted on the sub­ur­ban network.

The rail­ways have not de­cided which sec­tion will get the first AC train MUM­BAI: The silent Maratha protests grip­ping the state, por­trayed as a face­less ag­i­ta­tion led by the peo­ple, are backed by nearly 100 or­gan­i­sa­tions across districts and a core of hard­line or­gan­i­sa­tions that have been work­ing in the state for more than two decades.

The protests were trig­gered by the brutal rape and mur­der of a mi­nor in Kopardi in western Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Ahmed­na­gar dis­trict in July this year. What is now a huge state-wide mo­bil­i­sa­tion of the com­mu­nity be­gan with small lo­cal ral­lies in Ahmed­na­gar and later in Marathawada – both re­gions marked by strong caste pol­i­tics – af­ter the Class 8 stu­dent was gang raped, tor­tured and mur­dered by three Dalit labour­ers when she was on her way home from her grand­fa­ther’s house.

But the big ral­lies be­gan with a call by the Sakal Maratha Sa­maj – an um­brella group of nine or­gan­i­sa­tions - on Au­gust 10 in Au­rangabad. The rally not only saw an un­ex­pected turnout, but also got sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions across districts join­ing the move­ment in just a month-and-a half.

The first rally was not taken se­ri­ously by the ad­min­is­tra­tion or Maratha politi­cians, but it set a pat­tern for the ral­lies to come – non-vi­o­lence, young women pro­test­ers, the ab­sence of lead­ers and re­mark­able dis­ci­pline – all of which marked a shift from the com­mu­nity’s his­tory.

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