MUMBAI, INDIA, September 21, 2013 (Manthan K. Mehta, TNN): The 10-day Ganapati festival brought a major revenue boost to Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), with the two collectively earning US$1.6 million more than usual. The suburban railway network saw an average of 430,000 passengers more per day during the just-concluded Ganeshotsav festival.
On Monday, September 16, the CR network saw a record-breaking 6.5 million passengers compared to the daily average of 4 million, an increase of 62% in passenger traffic. On the same day, WR saw 4.95 million passengers compared to the daily average of 3.5 million, an increase of 42%.
A CR official said the passenger count on September 16 was the highest for a day seen so far on the suburban network. "It surpassed the till-date highest tally of 5.5 million commuters registered on August 20, the day of Rakshabandhan," the official said.
"During big festivals like Ganpati, Navratri or Diwali, rail transport is the swiftest as roads are usually clogged," a senior official said. "Many vehicles get caught in traffic jams for hours as the road width gets decreased due to the erection of pandals, thus blocking the smooth flow of traffic. In such a scenario, even non-rail travelers jump on the train to avoid traffic."