To start the local train service for the people of Maharashtra, the Central Railway and Western Railway have asked for more information to implement the scheme.
Western Railway spokesperson Sumit Thakur and Central Railway spokesperson Shivaji Sutar have said that they are discussing with the state government to end the hurdles in starting the train service in this regard. He informed that passengers are pressing for opening of all local trains from 1 November. Usually, around 85 lakh passengers use the state’s 3200 train service daily.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is spread over 390 kilometres, covering 157 stations. In this, the famous Dabbawalas of Mumbai travel from home to the office every day.
It is to be noted that The Maharashtra government had written a letter in the name of Central Railway and Western Railway, in which time slots, along with the gathering of people and distribution of resources was mentioned. The letter further said that the service of the local train should be started soon for the people.
The Maharashtra government had written to the Railways to allow passengers to travel at non-peak hours. Three slots were suggested by the government, in which two slots have been proposed for people related to essential services and one female special train every hour.
On the letter from the Government of Maharashtra. Central Railway has tweeted “ Railways is always ready to increase the ferries of suburban rail services in keeping with the social distance law in the wake of Corona crisis. Effective plans are being prepared to enable everyone to travel in local trains. We are in constant touch with the state government in this regard. It will be decided soon.”
In its reply to Maharashtra government’s letter, Central Railway has compared several people travelling on its side before Corona and after Corona and said that the Central Railway is running only 706 trains from its side but they have no problem in increasing its full capacity of 1774. The letter also added that after this the state government’s cooperation will be needed for following social distancing and other norms.
To start trains, the help of local police will also be required, along with the state-of-the-art technology, the state government and the railways will have to work together. Consideration has also been discussed for tickets and other options. Western Railway is also willing to increase the number of trains from its 704 to its full capacity by 1367.
Like the Central Railway, Western Railway has reiterated that the state government will have to cooperate to implement social distancing in passengers. Both railway departments have also said that even after running to full capacity, only a few lakh passengers will be able to travel in local, and other lakhs of people will not be able to travel in local due to social distancing, so the state government should also look into other transport modes. The services of local trains in Mumbai were suspended due to the lockdown imposed to prevent infection of the coronavirus. After this, local trains were started from June 15 for the employees of essential service and from July 1, besides government employees, people working in courts, banks, defence, income tax, customs and other fields were allowed to travel. After this, women were allowed to travel on 20 October and lawyers on 27 October.