The Railways has decided to hold off the resumption of local train services in the city for the general public, even as other restrictions imposed during the lockdown are being lifted gradually.
A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release issued on Tuesday states that passenger trains along with local trains will continue to remain suspended till further notice.
“Regular passenger and suburban train services will continue to remain suspended until further notice. It may be noted that 230 special trains, which are running at present, will continue to operate. Local trains in Mumbai, which are presently running on a limited basis, only on the requisition of the state government, will also continue to run. Additional special trains may be run based on the requirement,” mentions the release.
The Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) operated more than 3,000 local train services daily on the suburban railway route before the lockdown was imposed. Currently, CR and WR run a total of 700 daily services only for essential service providers.
Passengers have started demanding the resumption of train services, citing expensive commute by other modes of transport.
A delegation of railway passenger associations met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday afternoon, demanding resumption of local train services for the general public in the city.
“Nobody is thinking of the general passengers who need to travel by local trains. Some people want to travel by station trains but hey cannot reach the boarding stations as they are also not being allowed to travel by local trains. We met the Governor and raised our concerns. It is not justified.” said Madhu Kotian, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.
The passenger association has also suggested the introduction of staggered office timings. “We have suggested that different shift timings should be introduced for companies. Train services should halt at Kalwa, Diva, Airoli and Ghansoli railway stations for emergency workers. QR-based code passes for emergency workers is not required,” added Kotian.
The association stated that the Governor assured them he would address their concerns. “However, we will protest on the platforms of railway stations if the demands of general passengers are not met,” said Kotian.
Meanwhile, passengers have stated that they have to spend extra money to travel to their workplace due to the suspension of train services. “I pay ₹250 daily for a journey that earlier cost me less than ₹10 by local train. Companies are slowly opening up, but why are the train services suspended till now? The government should implement a protocol for travel,” said Aarti Singh, a Vidyavihar resident.