Mumbai local trains | Railways should cooperate with government without bringing in politics: Deshmukh

Essential service workers waiting for a local train at Mumbai’s CSMT station. File   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The Railway administration should cooperate with the Maharashtra government on providing suburban train services to people without bringing any politics into it, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Deshmukh said the government has suggested certain time slots where general commuters can board these trains.

The Maharashtra government had on Wednesday proposed to the Railways that the general public be allowed to travel on Mumbai local trains, which are currently available only for essential services employees and a select group of people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Railway authorities appeared lukewarm to the proposal and on Thursday said only a little over 25% of the normal number of commuters can be carried while following social distancing.

In the pre-COVID-19 era, 80 lakh people travelled daily by Mumbai suburban local trains, called the “lifeline” of the metropolis.

“The Maharashtra government has given (the Railways) timings (when one can be allowed to use train services). The railway administration should cooperate with the Maharashtra government accordingly,” Mr Deshmukh said.

“People will not face inconvenience if the Railways cooperates well. Hence, the Railway administration should cooperate with the government without bringing any politics into this,” he added.

The government had proposed to the Railway authorities that the general public be allowed to travel by Mumbai local trains during non-peak hours.

At present, only certain categories of persons, including essential services staff and women, can travel by local trains due to the coronavirus threat.

In a letter to the Railways, the State government had suggested that any person holding a valid ticket be allowed to board local trains till 7.30 in the morning, between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and between 8 p.m. till the end of the day.

The time between 8 am to 10:30 am and 5 pm to 7.30 pm should be reserved for essential services staff having valid QR coded identity cards, and there should be ladies special trains every hour, the government had said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:09:16 AM |

Next Story