Coronavirus outbreak: Fewer trains, autos to ply today; no Metro and monorail serviceUpdated: Mar 22, 2020 00:44 IST
With major cities in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Thane, shutting down since Saturday, the state administration is preparing to ensure people follow the 14-hour Janta Curfew on Sunday.
The state agencies, including municipal corporations, district collectorate and police department have appealed to the public to stay indoors between 7am and 9pm on Sunday.
With fewer bus, train and state transport services, the state government is looking to ensure fewer people step out of their homes and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Auto and taxi unions have said only 15% to 20% of autos and black-and-yellow cabs will ply on the roads. Suburban trains are expected to run 25% of its daily services.
Monorail and Metro rail services in Mumbai have been suspended on Sunday. Mobile app-based cab aggregator services such as Uber and Ola are encouraging drivers to stay off road. The app services will, however, be functional for anyone who needs to avail of cabs in an emergency.
The Central and Western Railway will operate fewer local train services on Sunday.
On the Central Railway, 1,106 local train services will be operated on its mainline, harbour and trans-harbour railway line — Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Kalyan, CSMT-Panvel, Panvel-Thane and Nerul and Belapur railway stations.
Western Railway will operate 800 local trains between Churchgate and Virar stations. It has cancelled local trains between Virar and Dahanu Road and Dahanu Road and Churchgate railway stations.
A total of 120 outstation trains have been cancelled between 4am and 10pm on Sunday.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will run 2,500 buses of the 3,500 BEST buses on Sunday. This is around 1,000 less than other days.
A senior state government official in charge of coordination between various agencies said there are no specific orders to enforce the curfew as it is self-imposed.
“We will appeal to the public to follow the Prime Minister’s appeal. The state government has already announced a shutdown till March 31. The police will keep an eye on any incidents,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
The senior officer said beat cops and vans will be doing the rounds during the curfew period.
A communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs to chief secretary has requested all state agencies to “widely disseminate” the message of the prime minister.
It has also requested urban local bodies, fire department, police department, civil defence and industrial establishments to sound a siren at 5pm.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said, “We are appealing to the people to follow the curfew. This is a voluntary call given by the Prime Minister.”
He added that the 35 fire brigade stations in Mumbai will sound the siren.
Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaiskar appealed to citizens to follow the curfew on Sunday and not step out. “I urge everyone to follow the appeal by the Prime Minister.”
Some housing societies in Mumbai have decided to keep their main gates shut during the curfew period to stop movement of vehicles, except emergency ones.
Some housing societies have also issued a circular, appealing to residents to stay indoors.
Municipal authorities in Mumbai and Nagpur received a lukewarm response on the first of the shutdown announced by the Maharashtra government in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, and Nagpur. Some shops, which do not sell essential commodities, were open.
BMC squad shut down a salon and spa and a tailoring shop on Saturday at Bangur Nagar in Goregaon (West).
Nagpur Municipal Corporation teams shut several shops in the city. The police in Nagpur kept making announcements using megaphones to disperse the crowd on roads.
The state government has already shut schools, colleges, cinema halls, swimming pools, gymnasiums, malls, mill compounds, discos, pubs, parks, spas and big events.
All shops, except those providing essential service such as grocery and medicines, will remain shut till March 31.
The state has also restricted traffic movement around quarantine centres of Kasturba Hospital and KEM Hospital.
Essential service providers such as drinking water, food, vegetable and grocery, hospitals and medical stores, banks regulated by RBI, insurance companies, telephone and internet service providers are exempted from the shutdown.
Rail and transport services such as BEST and taxis are allowed.
Restaurants, cafes, and eateries will be open and will cater to only 50% customers and maintain 3-foot distance between customers. Food delivery is allowed.
Petrol filling stations in Mumbai will be operational with skeletal staff between 7am and 7pm. In Pune, petrol pumps will be open between 8am and 4pm.