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Thousands of passengers turned up at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Kalyan and Thane stations to catch trains to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. An official said, “More than 60,000 passengers took trains from LTT on March 20, which is double the daily average.” Security was increased at LTT to control the crowds. Several passengers waited in the concourse and platform areas of LTT from March 20 afternoon, for trains that would leave the next day.
A Central Railway (CR) official said they were running more than a dozen trains to handle the rush. Around 1 lakh passengers took trains to north and east India on March 20 from CSMT, LTT, Kalyan and Thane.
Several residents also opted for road travel, as bus dia camped at Panvel station to catch a train home.
These labourers are worried they cannot sustain lives in Mumbai without an income. Jharkhand resident Dharam Pasi said, “I am a welder, but my firm in Mira Road asked me to pack up as everything is shut. It is better to be at home than spend stops along Thane Belapur Road, Sion Panvel highway and Kalamboli junction which is the mouth of the Pune Expressway, saw crowds on Saturday trying to get to their hometowns. Besides buses, travellers struggled to board private cars, tempos, and trucks. Daily wagers from Konkan and south Inmoney here without work.”
Starting Saturday midnight, no interstate transport buses will be allowed to enter Maharashtra or leave the state, said a diktat issued by state transport commissioner Shekhar Channe.
(With inputs from B B Nayak and Somit Sen)
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