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Day 1 of curbs: Public transport services in Mumbai see less takers

By 8pm on Thursday, nearly 1.8 million passengers travelled by local trains on both Central and Western Railway. There was also a decrease in passengers travelling by BEST buses.
By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON APR 16, 2021 12:24 AM IST

With restriction of the new lockdown imposed in the city on Thursday, public transport witnessed a dip in the number of passengers. Mumbai local services, which was closed for general public except for those travelling for valid reason, saw significant decline commuters.

By 8pm on Thursday, nearly 1.8 million passengers travelled by local trains on both Central and Western Railway.

Earlier, around 2.2 million passengers travelled on Central Railway and 1.8 million passengers travelled on Western Railway daily, as restrictions were eased under the Maharashtra government’s Mission Begin Again.

The Maharashtra government has not suspended public transport, but has implemented restrictions such as restricting general public from travelling by local trains. However, people working in essential care, travelling for medical purposes and those travelling to and fro vaccination centres across the city will be allowed to commute by the local trains.

Autorickshaws are allowed to have two passengers only, excluding the driver; taxis are allowed to operate with 50% capacity and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses are not allowed to ferry any standing passengers.

Railway authorities have also restricted entry and exit points of railway stations on Thursday and started checking identity cards and documents of passengers at the entrance of railway stations. The inspection was conducted during the evening rush hour.

“We have started checking identity cards of people working in essential care and other documents of passengers while they enter the railway stations. If we find any unauthorised travel, we inform Government Railway Police (GRP) who are authorised to charge fines,” said a senior railway official.

There was also a decrease in passengers travelling by BEST buses. “There was up to a 5% decrease in the number of passengers travelling by BEST buses. No passengers were allowed to stand. We will know the exact decline in the number of passengers by Friday,” said a senior BEST official.

Further, citing loss in livelihood, autorickshaw union has approached e-commerce website Amazon asking to engage autorickshaw and taxi drivers to deliver products within and outside Mumbai. “We would be happy if Amazon can look into engaging services of autorickshaw and taxi drivers in Mumbai and outside to deliver their products. They can also deliver bigger quantity and bulkier products. This would enable the autorickshaw and taxi drivers to earn some income during these difficult times,” said Krishna Hegde, president, Kamgar Seva Sangh.

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