Right to Travel Movement in Mumbai sign now

Dear Sir,

We, in our capacity as citizens of India, are submitting this petition to call your urgent attention to certain serious issues concerning the Right to Travel Movement of nearly 2.5 million people living in Mumbais distant western suburbs from Dahisar to Virar.

We have learned that due to lack of affordable housing in Mumbai city for low income group families and frequent slum demolition drives, there has been a massive shift in population from the city to its outlying suburbs like the Dahisar-Virar stretch in the western suburbs. The population of this region has grown from nearly 0.5 million in 1991 to 2.5 million in the last 15 years. But there has not been significant increase in suburban train service, which is the only practical mode of transport between this region and the Mumbai city. 15-16 travelers are forced together in one square metre space for more than an hour in the morning while going to work and in the evening while returning from work. Travelers falling off from running trains and dying is a daily experience.

The Western Mumbai Suburban committee of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) initiated the Right to Travel Movement in November 2004 demanding an immediate end to such misery inflicted on people living in the Dahisar - Virar belt. For millions of people in this densely populated dormitory region of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, suburban train travel is so dehumanizing an experience that the 'Right to Travel Movement' quickly gathered momentum. Even after a full year of Signature Campaign, Conventions, Dharnas and Demonstrations, the criminal negligence of the authorities towards this issue continued. Finally in October 2005,the Democratic Youth Federation of India gave a call to the people of this region to observe Rail Satyagraha (peaceful sit-in on Railway tracks and courting arrest) on December 10, the International Human Rights Day. The call for Rail Satyagraha was endorsed by more than 70 organisations including all major political parties.

People participated in Rail Satyagraha in tens of thousands. The Railway administration and the police responded in the most undemocratic fashion by shamelessly unleashing brutal violence against an absolutely peaceful movement of the people. The police resorted to lathicharge and firing tear gas shells against non-violent Rail satyagrahis at Nallasopara, arrested several satyagrahis including leading activists of the movement and registered a false case under various sections of IPC and IRA, the punishment sought under which includes life term imprisonment. 25 Satyagrahis were incarcerated at Thane Central Jail for 12 days before being released on bail on 22nd December. Please note that such repressive measures were adopted even when Railway spokesperson openly admitted that there has not been any loss of Railway property or injury to any passenger during the December 10 agitation.

The activists who were treated as dangerous criminals by the ruling establishment were given overwhelming welcome by the people. They were given a grand reception at the Jail gate and felicitated at large gatherings at many places in the suburbs. Such popular response made
the authorities lose their sense. In their cowardice and utter disrespect for citizens' rights, the police are adopting intimidating tactics against the 25 persons who are released on bail. Fresh proceedings under section 107 of IPC were initiated against them just 4 days after they came out of Jail !

It is shocking that in Mumbai, where the affluence of India's elite sections is in full display, millions of ordinary citizens living in the suburbs are being subjected to such subhuman conditions while going to work and returning home. Rather than taking all the urgent measures required to end this misery, the administration is trying its best to crush the democratic protest movement which arose from it!

We request you to intervene urgently in the matter explained above. We request you to issue immediate instructions to fulfill all the demands raised by the 'Right to Travel movement' of Mumbai's western suburbs and to withdraw all the measures taken by the local administration to crush this people's movement.


Demands:

1. Borivli-Virar track quadrupling, procurement of rakes and other developmental projects should be completed on war footing. Adequate funds should be allocated for these works in the 2006 Budget.

2. The most important demand is to start Andheri-Virar and Borivili-Virar shuttle services every 30 minutes. Completition of track quadrupling is not at all required for beginning these shuttle services.

3.The Naigaon region is divided by the Railway track into two disconnected halves. There is not even a level crossing in this heavily populated area. A fly-over should be constructed urgently connecting the east and west sides of Naigaon.

4.An impartial enquiry should be conducted into the police lathicharge of December 10 and the guilty officers should be punished.

5.The false case registered against 25 Rail Satyagrahis should be withdrawn. All criminal proceedings against participants of Rail Satyagraha should be discontinued.

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Latest Signatures

  • 30 July 201550. Chandramohan Beck
    I support this petition
  • 14 July 201549. Ajith B
    I support this petition
  • 31 May 201548. Abdul R
    In Solidarity. In the name of Humanity. For the right to live.
  • 26 April 201547. Prahlad B
    I support this petition
  • 26 February 201546. Dinesan T
    I will be happy if my signature can make a difference !!
  • 18 October 201445. Anilkumar K
    Give priority to solve basic problems of the people.
  • 13 September 201444. Mohamad Rt
    I support this petition
  • 28 May 201443. Rajesh N
    I support this petition
  • 03 February 201442. Rajesh N
    I support this petition
  • 12 December 201341. Aby Abrahamg
    I support this petition
  • 26 July 201340. Tvenugopal Meyer
    Withdraw false cases against the Satyagrahis. Minimum travel facilities to the citizens.
  • 23 June 201339. Prasanthan T
    I support this petition
  • 19 June 201338. Basheer Mcbride
    I support this petition
  • 21 May 201337. Gopinathan G
    I request the Hon'ble PM to take urgent steps to save the commuters.
  • 11 April 201336. Mvkunhiraman Flores
    I support this petition
  • 18 January 201335. Kchandrasekharan Hess
    The event in question is a shame on Indian Democracy
  • 28 September 201234. Jitendra V
    I support this petition
  • 08 July 201233. Anil Middleton
    I support this petition
  • 19 August 201132. K Kp
    Through this struggle the people here are maturing from 'subjects' to 'citizens'
  • 22 July 201131. Regi Pg
    I support this petition
  • 09 May 201130. Shilu C
    Please provide us minimum travelling facility.
  • 02 January 201129. Shaji Ms
    ALL THE BEST TO RTM
  • 28 October 201028. Poonam S
    I fully support this initiative.
  • 08 September 201027. Anil Vp
    please stop treating local train travellers like animals
  • 04 August 201026. Rajendra V
    I would like railway to treat us like animals. As the animals are travelling in better atmosphere than humans.
  • 06 June 201025. Prajan N
    Rail Satyagraha was totally peaceful. But the authorities treated us just like criminals. It is absolutely wrong and undemicratic
  • 20 January 201024. Balakrishnan K
    Mumbai is Money box of India & Common Man's issue is neglected very badly.

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Augusta ClarkBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
Dr.Manmohan Singh, The Prime Minister of India

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