Maharashtra government again seeks Centre’s nod to resume local train services
CM, cabinet, Sharad Pawar discuss easing of lockdown, revival of economy, transport for migrantsUpdated: May 23, 2020 23:57 IST
The Maharashtra government has once again decided to request the Centre to allow the resumption of local train services for the workforce engaged in emergency and essential services. It has decided to request the Centre for more trains to ferry the remaining migrants who want to go back to their respective home states.
The call was taken following a high-level meeting between chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, his senior cabinet colleagues, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday.
Pawar, who held three meetings with the CM and his cabinet colleagues in the last nine days, discussed various other issues related to the ongoing lockdown and the exit strategy. Pawar has been insistent on easing of lockdown restrictions and planning a strategy for revival of the economy, which has plummeted.
“The state government has already urged the Centre for resumption of suburban railway services for the workforce engaged in essential and emergency services. The CM has spoken with the Prime Minister over it. We have decided to once again request the Centre for trains,” said water resources minister and NCP leader Jayant Patil.
He said that they discussed the strategy and steps that need to be taken for a lockdown exit plan for Mumbai and Thane. “Pawarseheb has agreed to speak to railway minister Piyush Goyal with the request for more trains and resumption of suburban locals for essential and emergency services,” Patil said.
The state has more than 3 lakh migrants who want to go back to their respective home states. “We have been demanding 70 trains daily against which we are getting 45-50. We need around 200 more trains to send the migrants back to their states. The government wants to send them back before the ongoing lockdown ends on May 31,” said an official from Mantralaya.
Pawar reportedly was in favour of resumption of road transport within the state and alongside restarting train and air services.
According to officials present at the meeting, a range of other issues, including handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, augmentation of the health services, revival of various sectors, strategy to attract migrant labourers back, and helping the education sector were discussed in the meeting. Pawar also suggested interaction with industrialists and experts for the revival of the various sectors.
The leaders also discussed the Centre’s slow response in extending a helping hand to the state as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempts to corner government and encourage non-cooperation was also discussed at the meeting held at the proposed location for the Bal Thackeray memorial in Dadar.