Overcrowding on Mumbai local an unusual occurrence amid Covid-19 outbreak, says Western RailwayUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 00:23 IST
Local train commuters had a harrowing experience on Tuesday night and Wednesday after services were suspended owing to waterlogging on tracks. Services were suspended on the Harbour line for around 24 hours, while Central Railway and Western Railway services were suspended for around 14 and 11 hours, respectively.
Two videos of overcrowded local train compartments on Wednesday afternoon and a crowded foot overbridge went viral on social media. Though services are operational only for those in essential services owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, trains and station platforms witnessed huge crowds after services were cancelled.
“Water started to accumulate on tracks from Tuesday night at Sion, after which many passengers were stuck at the station,” said Divya Dutta, a civic hospital employee.
“There was heavy rain in Mumbai on 23/9/2020, resulting in cancellation on suburban services. The video being circulated is that of a suburban service which started as an extra Virar 15-compartment service on September 23 [Wednesday] at 3.45pm from Churchgate. The video is of this service at Borivli platform number 3 at 5.22pm .Due to the cancellations of suburban services during morning owing to heavy rains and flooding in Mumbai, the rush at Borivli was a very unusual occurrence. Western Railway has adopted proactive approach in increasing the number of suburban services, ahead of demand, keeping the social distancing norms in mind,” an official statement from Western Railway read.
Western Railway introduced 150 new services on Monday, of which 59 are operated during peak hours.
Central Railway on Thursday introduced 68 new train services, of which 46 were introduced on the mainline, while 22 were introduced on the Harbour line.
“To maintain social distancing & avoid crowding, Central Railway adds additional 68 services to existing 355 services from 26/09/2020. Passengers to follow social distancing, wear mask/ during entry/exit and travel. These special suburban services are for essential staff as identified by the State Government,” said a statement from Central Railway.
Railway officials also stated that many commuters stood at the doorways, leading to overcrowding.
“Additional local train services are being operated. However, the video in question has unusual build up at doorways. There is no crowding inside the compartment,” said a senior Western Railway official.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking started operating 76 Maharashtra State Road and Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses on Thursday on six routes in the city.