Mumbai News

Poor public response pushed govt to declare lockdown in Mumbai – Times of India

MUMBAI: Hours after the Railway board decided to stop all passenger and suburban trains, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had a brief consultation with senior NCP and Congress cabinet members and it was decided to declare a complete lockdown from Sunday midnight.
A senior bureaucrat said, a week ago, there was a proposal before the state cabinet on closing down the suburban network, but a section of cabinet members expressed reservation. “It was felt that if the suburban rail network is closed, then even the essential staff may not be able to reach their work places. It was then proposed that only essential staff be allowed to board the trains. Accordingly, 135 teams were set up to implement the decision,” he said.
The bureaucrat pointed out that despite the CM’s appeal on umpteen occasions, the public remained careless and continued to gather in large numbers, which proved to be counterproductive. “We were expecting that in view of the seriousness of the situation better sense would prevail and people would work from home. As there was no response and the Railway board decided to stop passenger and suburban trains, the CM declared a complete lockdown. In addition, Section 144 has been clamped in the entire state, too, to ensure more than five people do not gather at one place,” he said.
The biggest challenge before the government, the bureaucrat said, is to transport essential staff staying in the suburbs and beyond. “We have worked out an action plan. We will press state transport and BEST buses for the purpose. We are open to suggestions. If there is a need, we will not hesitate to amend plans for the essential staff,” he said.

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