‘Allow women employees from Kasara, Karjat to travel in locals operational for CR staff’Updated: May 23, 2020 22:56 IST
The Railway Passengers Association for commuters from Karjat and Kasara has written a letter to Central Railway (CR), requesting it to allow women employees from these areas working in emergency services like Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), hospitals, and the police department in Mumbai, to travel in local trains operating for railway staff.
Employees from these areas are being provided with buses for their daily commute. However, they have complained that no social distancing is followed due to the maximum number of passengers in each vehicle. The passengers association has therefore requested CR to allow at least women passengers to travel in the locals which are functional for railway employees.
“The letter with the above request was written to the CR headquarters in Mumbai and was also addressed to the railways minister Piyush Goyal, on 22 May. At present, there are around 1 lakh citizens from the Kalyan-Karjat-Kasara belt who are travelling towards Mumbai daily to attend their jobs in emergency services in various government agencies. These employees are provided with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses, at specific stops,” said Shyam Ubale, general secretary, Railway Passengers Association (Kalyan, Kasara, Karjat).
“The employees travelling in these buses have noticed that no social distancing is followed. Hence, we have requested that at least women passengers should be allowed to travel in the local trains functioning for railway employees,” said Ubale.
A 33-year-old woman passenger from Vasind, who works at Mumbai Police headquarters, has to travel around eight kilometres from her home, to board the BEST bus at Asangaon. “It’s difficult to maintain social distance on the bus as every seat is accommodated by passengers. If extra passengers board, we also have to adjust and make space for them to sit. In such cases, it increases the risk as far as the spread of the pandemic is concerned. Permission to travel in local trains operational for railway workers could help to resolve this issue,” she said.
Another 35-year-old woman passenger from Kasara, who works as a bank employee in Mumbai, said, “As the passengers increase in the bus, it’s difficult to follow social distancing. After returning home, we may pose a risk to our family members, especially our children. Train travel will also reduce our daily commute time. We request CR to consider our request, at least for women passengers travelling to CSMT, who are serving in various government agencies,” she said.
Local train services were made functional only for railway employees since Thursday, with limited services, informed a CR official from Mumbai.
“Though the trains have been made functional, they are limited and exclusively for railway staff who have been deployed for essential services like operations of Shramik special trains. At present, these local services for railway employees are operated in the morning and evening between CSMT and Karjat and Kasara,” said a senior CR official.