With women commuters, including those involved in non-essential services, being allowed to travel in suburban trains from Wednesday, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Waddetiwar said the state government is considering allowing the resumption of local train services for all in Mumbai.
“We will take a decision on starting suburban train services for all in the next couple of days. We have held discussions with various stakeholders. Residents will get relief on this front soon,” Waddetiwar told mediapersons.
On the first day of all women being allowed on trains — from 11 am to 3 pm and then again from 7 pm till the end of services — saw limited number of commuters in the morning. The numbers, however, increased during the evening. In anticipation of crowding at stations, the Railways had opened additional ticket counters to cut down on waiting time and maintain social distance.
The usually crowded women compartments were relatively empty in the morning, with most commuters taking precautions, including wearing masks and maintaining distance from each other. However, in the evening, as the number of passengers increased, there was some jostling in the compartments.
Andheri station saw many women commuters involved in non-essential services taking the local train.
Some commuters, however, complained that the time restrictions, particularly during morning, were unreasonable and inconvenienced many office-goers. “The government needs to do away with the time restrictions,” Ishrat Shaikh, who used the train to reach Vikhroli, said.
Suburban train services were shut down on March 23 during the lockdown. While partial resumption of services was announced on June 15, only those deemed to be essential service providers were allowed to board these trains after being allotted a special pass.
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