Anyone travelling via the Mumbai suburban railways are aware of the hawkers menace in the local trains, their numbers are increasing day by day. In Western Railways and Central Railways or in Harbour lines, hawkers sell their goods in train, which is illegal.
The Railways does not allow hawkers to sell goods in local train, but we can see while travelling by train the hawkers sells vegetables, cosmetic, even fish and some artificial product in the train.
Other than the hawkers, commuters also have to deal with beggars, eunuch, people request donations for firms etc.
The commuter faces problem because if anyone argues with a hawker, the other hawkers also join in the argument. Even during the peak hours hawkers enter ladies compartment to sell goods. There are cases of male hawkers also entering ladies compartment to sell goods.
According to Marathi regional newspaper, the Railway police commissioner Niket Kaushik said, the RPF will take strict action against hawkers. We will also appoint employees and contractors to handle the situation and sort out this problem.
Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of Central Railway, Sachin Bhalode said, RPF always take action against hawkers. If figure would be seen that in 2016, 19,733 were recorded by the RPF officials.
In a recent tragic incident at Thane station one commuter lost his life while dealing with the hawker menace. The person was travelling towards Mumbai CST and had an argument with a hawker. The quarrel was raised so much that the commuter feared that he would be beaten by the group of hawkers, hence he decided to jump off the running train onto the tracks. However, the commuter did not notice a train coming from the opposite direction which hit him. The commuter died on the spot due to the accident.
In another incident at Kurla station, A 24-year old girl, Sapna Shukla lost her life after a man pushed her to death in his bid to snatch her chain on 7 December. All these incidents highlight the lack of safety while travelling by local trains in Mumbai.