Long queues of passengers outside booking offices were witnessed as local train services began for the general public on Monday.
Despite the Central and Western railways opening all of their booking offices for passengers, long queues were witnessed outside Kurla, Dadar, Nalasopara and Ghatkopar railway stations.
Citizens, from Monday, are allowed to commute by local trains between 12pm and 4pm, post 9pm till the last train service of the day, and from the first train service of the day till 7am.
While the railways extended the validity of monthly railway passes for passengers who could not travel due to the lockdown, the public rushed to railway stations to get their passes’ validity extended.
However, there was no crowding inside local train compartments.
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“There are people who do not want to travel and have come to the railway station to get their passes extended. I am waiting for 20 minutes just to get a railway ticket at Kurla railway station. There is restricted timing. How will we travel if there is such a long wait?” said Dinesh Trivedi, a Vidyavihar resident
Similar queues were witnessed at Dadar railway station.
“There is no crowd inside the local train compartment, but just to reach it took 15 minutes. Despite all the booking offices being open, there are long queues,” said Aditi Thakur, a Dadar resident.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel at Kurla, Dadar and Ghatkopar railway stations were seen streamlining and directing queues. Ticket checking staff were also deployed on foot overbridges and suburban railway platforms.
There was a queue of passengers outside Nalasopara railway station early Monday morning as well.
“At Nalasopara station, there was a bit of crowd in the early hours for renewal of season passes. On explaining to the crowd that time slots beyond 7am till 12am are for nominated categories, they dispersed.” said Sumit Thakur, chief public relation officer, Western Railways. Local train services for the general public were suspended on March 23, 2020 due to the spread of coronavirus in the city.
Later, services were resumed for employees working in essential care on July 15,2020. Cancer patients, specially abled commuters, women and lawyers were also allowed to travel by local trains.