Commuters slam Maharashtra for keeping rail services shut; term it 'British Raj'

Updated: 04 August, 2020 07:56 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Term it 'British Raj' for not responding to their appeals; say the closure is affecting people's businesses and work

Locals are being run only for essential services staff. Pic/Satej Shinde
Locals are being run only for essential services staff. Pic/Satej Shinde

Mumbai's rail commuters are angry. In a Zoom meeting of commuter associations, members fiercely discussed the restarting of local trains, the lifeline of Mumbai, and came down heavily on the decision-making authority, that is the Maharashtra government, terming it the 'British Raj'
for not responding to commuter appeals.

"Any number of letters to officers of the Maharashtra government are not responded to or even acknowledged. The Maharashtra government is the decision-making authority for local trains and they are answerable to the public. The closure of local trains is killing businesses and the spirit of Mumbai," Siddhesh Desai, member of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh said. Veteran railway activist Madhu Kotian said that the passengers realise the importance of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols. "Today, local trains are running empty in the name of social distancing. They should be carrying commuters from far-fetched suburbs like Dombivli and Vasai. But no one is allowed except the identified essential workers, which is leading to lots of problems for everyone as roads are not that developed as yet," Kotian said.

"We have decided to take up the issue with the Maharashtra government in every possible form so that it gets appropriately highlighted till local trains are opened up for public. We cannot shut down like this and sit for long," Desai said.

The meeting was attended by several members of the Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh and commuters from Thane/Kalwa region. Decisions regarding local trains and other public transport are being taken as per the directives of Maharashtra government.

'As per state guidelines'
A senior railway official said that railways have started passenger services in a graded manner from June 1 with 200 special trains and selected suburban services from June 15. Presently, both CR and WR are running 73 local trains (702 services) for only essential staff, as identified by state government and not for common people. Of these services, 41 local trains are operational on Central Railway and 32 on Western Railway.

Railway officials said that as per COVID-19 directives in place, the Maharashtra government has been taking decisions regarding local transport and state transport, including railways, and the local trains and outstation trains are being run as per the guidelines and directives.

Mar 24
Since when local train services in Mumbai and its suburbs are shut

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First Published: 04 August, 2020 07:17 IST

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