A video of people crowding onto a suburban train in Mumbai prompted a debate on social media about social distancing, and resulted in authorities issuing a clarification on why the train was crowded.
A clip that’s being widely shared on social media and WhatsApp shows mask-clad people struggling to board a crowded train. Another video shows the inside of a compartment reserved for women that is full of passengers and has no scope for physical distancing among them.
Borivali station, Mumbai. Today. pic.twitter.com/QGspNgPPD3
— Sheela Bhatt (@sheela2010) September 24, 2020
Mumbai Local. ☹️ pic.twitter.com/bex2T4ZSCx
— Awanish Sharan (@AwanishSharan) September 24, 2020
Many on social media said that such crowding would only cause a greater spread of Covid-19 in the city, despite it being among the worst hit cities in the country.
No wonder Mumbai has been peaking with corona cases https://t.co/Q9tY1sHdvA
— Balaji (@Balaji1997) September 25, 2020
This the foolishness i was expecting from my beloved indians, mumbai is at a such a peak in #COVID19 as well as death due to covid, This idiocy shows why it is number 1..#WakeUpIndians #TakeCovid19Seriously https://t.co/QE1OG07y70
— Ayush Ujjwal Thakur (@Tednpoker) September 25, 2020
In this situation How community transfer can be stopped? https://t.co/Ej1CnSFbJ4
— Saurabh Kumar Singh (@hisaurabh) September 25, 2020
This is how we are going to control Corona Virus.
भगवान भरोसे https://t.co/FU7CaqtwZD
— Rahul Kr Sahu (@RahulIndya) September 25, 2020
This is the condition.. Predictions of Covid case surge will surprise all of us in winter this year. Be safe guys.. In the end only being alive matters!#MergeUPSC2020_2021 #PostponeUPSC_CSE #PostponeUPSC_Prelims #POSTPONE_UPSC_CSE #postponeupscoct4 #postponeupsc2020 #UPSCpostpone https://t.co/QKWXVQbCRU
— Ganesh Talukdar (@Ganesh_Taluk) September 25, 2020
Seriously??? And we’re here thinking like 31st December is an expiry date of corona!! https://t.co/ZvbwGiyMcj
— Hetal lodha (@hetal_lodha) September 25, 2020
— Pramod (@P_K_Srivastava) September 24, 2020
This was not expected..@CovidIndiaSeva , @MoHFW_INDIA , @RailMinIndia hope you all are aware of this.We can’t let this happen again. Please try maintaining all norms and #COVID19 SOPs. Hope we see a coordinated work on ground and win this war against #coronavirus. Jai Hind🇮🇳🙏 https://t.co/talz6uDPO5
— Kumar Vidhyasagar Mahato (@KumarVidhyasag2) September 25, 2020
before vaccine we are going towards herd immunity . https://t.co/41PdRrcpi0
— Secure investments (@secureinvestin) September 25, 2020
I see people blaming these people.
I see people blaming corporates.
But this is on the Railways and the government. Barely 25% of the services are active when over 50% of “essential workers” need to commute.
Ply more services NOW! https://t.co/Bk3baON955
— Anish Bhalerao (@anishbhalerao) September 25, 2020
If it’s today’s video, please tell who will take responsibility if Corona spread in Mumbai drastically? I can understand the financial issues we all are facing but is it the solution? can’t all private Co. Call 3 days a week to their employee in 2 batch to avoid such situation? https://t.co/o0CzL3X4AJ
— S G Warsi (@sgwarsi) September 25, 2020
Corona has no space to enter …
— Dinesh Trivedi (@DinTri) September 24, 2020
— 🐧A$Hu 🐧 (@iamashutjha) September 24, 2020
This is a Covid19 petri dish of disastrous proportions for Mumbai. What a dire situation India is in. Neither do people respect the rules intended to keep them safe and nor is there the physical infrastructure to make it feasible to observe the rules. https://t.co/WH4uYqXnTm
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) September 24, 2020
Others highlighted that travelling in a vehicle is a privilege and work from home may not be applicable for all.
WFH is a luxury. Social distancing is a privilege. https://t.co/7Tir2GdhMj
— Pallavi Singh (@bombaywaali) September 25, 2020
Bear in mind that these people don’t have any choice. Nobody wants to be packed like sardines on a good day, much less in the middle of a pandemic. But not everyone is privileged enough to be socially distant and still make a living. https://t.co/4meOkfM6Cx
— Shiamak Baria-Unwalla (@Crikipedia) September 25, 2020
They are middle class and poor people, its a matter of earning bread & butter, nobody is happy to travel like this in the pandemic.
Its been around 7 months that people are sitting at their home, those who are doing work from home won’t be able to understand their problem.
— Sachin (@sachin_almal) September 25, 2020
Sir, I don’t take Mumbai locals unless I absolutely have to.(Not taken one since lockdown started, wfh), but what happened is absolutely unavoidable. My sympathies lie with the commuters who have to do this to earn a living. There is not much railways can do too. We need to earn
— Vinayak (@vinayak214) September 24, 2020
Don’t abuse them
They have no other choice.
No one wants to risk their lives.
Poverty is a bigger disease than corona https://t.co/XEQZLzRfpU
— Dr. Maulik Modi (@iamthemaulik) September 25, 2020
The official handle of the Western Railways responded to the clips saying they are from September 23. An official statement said that due to heavy rainfall in the city trains were cancelled which caused crowding on other operational trains.
There was heavy rains on 23 Sept 2020 due to which 233 suburban services were cancelled between Churchgate – Andheri resulting in unusual rush at Borivali in the evening. Extra Virar 15 car service was run to accommodate passengers. WR is running more services than demand. pic.twitter.com/v2rMjWEVVg
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) September 24, 2020
Heavy rains on 23 Sept led to cancellation of 263 out of 500 services, resulting in rush at Borivali.
But, WR created capacity ahead of demand on real time basis.
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) September 24, 2020
Incessant overnight rain for almost 12 hours, followed by intermittent showers during the day, threw the city out of gear on Wednesday due to severe waterlogging that disrupted local train services and vehicular traffic. Mumbai’s suburbs received the season’s most intense showers, recording 286.4 mm rain between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, categorised as extremely heavy rainfall.
Maharashtra’s Covid-19 case tally rose to 12,82,963 on Thursday with addition of 19,164 cases, PTI reported. With 459 fatalities being reported during the day, the toll in the state reached 34,345.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines