<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The route on which India’s first Bullet train is supposed to run came under question after an RTI reply from the Railways seemed to have suggested that over 40 per cent of seats on the existing trains running between Mumbai and Ahmedabad always remained unoccupied. However, the Western Railway (WR) has now clarified that this sector has been seeing over 100 per cent occupancy, and that the RTI reply was misconstrued.Western Railway’s Chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar in a press release said that between July and September this year, the total earning on this sector was Rs 233 crore. “There are 9 direct trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad having halts at en route stations, except the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Duronto Express.The total available berths of these 9 trains during this period works out to 8,03,150 against which actual passengers booked were 8,30,978. Thus, the total occupancy was 103 per cent,” said Bhakar.In the RTI reply provided to activist Anil Galgali, WR’s Chief Commercial Manager Manijit Singh had stated that 40 per cent seats were going vacant on this sector, resulting in losses of almost Rs 30 crore between July and September.However, the WR has stated that in addition to direct trains, there are 25 long-distance trains going beyond Ahmedabad and serving the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector. On these trains too, the berth potential for this period was 10,70,719 and actual passengers booked were 12,30,585, which works out to occupancy of 115 per cent.Bhakar clarified that the reply given in the RTI query is against the specific question of number of passengers from only Mumbai Central to Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad to Mumbai Central stations.”The RTI does not include information about en route traffic, i.e, passengers from originating station to en route stations, intermediate stations to intermediate stations and intermediate stations to destination station between Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad thereby showing lesser occupancy,” added Bhakar.Meanwhile, Galgali said it was surprising that when he had asked for information about occupancy on trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, it implied that information should have also been provided about all stations en route. “They have made a joke out of an RTI application. My data has come from the commercial department that knows about the statistics that are now being produced,” said Galgali.OCCUPANCY CLAIMBetween July-Sept ’17, total earning on this sector was Rs 233 crore
On the nine direct trains on the route, total occupancy was 103%

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Ahmedabad-Mumbai line: Railways makes U-turn on RTI reply