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Commuters complain about fewer Mumbai local train services in comparison to the passengers

A few days back, a video went viral on social media which showed a train crowded and packed with passengers, and some where even risking their lives by clinging to the door.

Commuters complain about fewer Mumbai local train services in comparison to the passengers
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The state government of Maharashtra has permitted some services to resume in the state, and despite the increasing number of cases, activities have started in Mumbai too. Currently, the lifeline of the city - Mumbai local trains - has started for workers in the essential services, and keeping the government guidelines in mind, the Central and Western Railways has allowed this keeping the social distancing rules in mind.

However, over the last few weeks, commuters have been violating the rules during the travel. A few days back, a video went viral on social media which showed a train crowded and packed with passengers, and some where even risking their lives by clinging to the door. Moreveor, female passengers have also been seen travelling with risks.

Observing this, the railways department had planned an increase in the number of trips with a focusing on accommodating the growing number of passengers. This increase was expected to reduce the number of passengers and crowd in one train, keeping the commuters' demand sin mind. However, it is reported that the number of female passengers have also increased over the last few months. Therefore, officials have received the demand for special trains and/or more coaches for women.

Currently, a total of 423 trips are run by the Central Railway and 500 trips are run by Western Railway for the staff from state government and municipal offices, hospital, police and other essential services. However, these figures are less in comparison to the regular schedule, due to which trains are crowded in the peak hours, especially in the morning and evening. The general public has raised concerns regarding the same, stating that this poses a risk of spreading coronavirus, and the cases could increase keeping the scenario in mind. Addressing the same, more local train services need to be started in the near future.

Before the lockdown, the railways had allowed the following number of trains, especially for women, from/to Mumbai and MMR regions

  • CSMT to Kalyan to CSMT (morning and evening) -  2 
  • CSMT to Panvel to CSMT - 2 
  • Churchgate to Borivali -1
  • Churchgate to Virar - 3
  • Borivali to Churchgate - 1
  • Virar to Churchgate - 3
  • Bhayander to Churchgate - 1 
  • Vasai to Churchgate - 1. 

The 12-car local trains currently have 3 full second class coaches for women and three first-class coaches with 50 per cent capacity (half a coach). The other coaches of the first-class are for male passengers, whereby 6 coaches for men in full first class and second class. However, these number of coaches have been said to be inadequate in comparison to the number of female passengers who are travelling currently. Hence, passengers have asked for some arrangements to be made, which could ease their commute, on a daily basis.

Furthermore, attendance at government offices has also increase, as a result, the number of female passengers travelling by local has seen a rise. Women have to face crowds in the journey, where many passengers do not follow the social distancing rules.

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