Mumbai, 22nd May 2023: The introduction of air-conditioned coaches on Central and Western Railways has been a convenient addition for passengers. However, the lack of luggage compartments in these air-conditioned coaches has become a source of inconvenience for baggage handlers.
A similar issue arises with the Mono and Metro systems, raising concerns about timely access to coaches. The Mumbai Dabbewala Association has called upon the Central and Western Railway administration, as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), to address this issue by providing dedicated baggage coaches for air-conditioned locals, monorails, and metros.
Both regular and air-conditioned locals are currently operational on Central and Western Railways, with plans to increase the number of air-conditioned coaches in the future. However, the absence of luggage compartments in the air-conditioned coaches poses challenges for baggage handlers, vendors, and individuals transporting heavy goods. This inconvenience is a pressing concern, particularly during peak hours. For instance, carters who collect and deliver containers from homes to offices between 9-10 am and 12 noon face difficulties when air-conditioned locals are added to the mix. Even if they reach the designated station on time, they are unable to travel in the air-conditioned coaches due to the lack of luggage compartments. Therefore, there is a demand from baggage handlers to incorporate luggage compartments in the air-conditioned coaches.
The Mumbai Dabbewalas are renowned worldwide for their precision and timely delivery. The coach schedules are synchronized with local timings, and any miscalculation can significantly impact the work of these dedicated lunchbox carriers. Additionally, the Versova-Ghatkopar Metro 1 allows for the transportation of specific dimensions and weights of luggage, but the absence of baggage compartments still poses a challenge for the coachmen to travel comfortably with their coaches.
Subhash Talekar, President of the Mumbai Dabbewala Association, has emphasized the need to introduce luggage compartments at the front and back of metro trains. This would address the concerns of baggage handlers and ensure smoother operations for all stakeholders involved.