Coronavirus outbreak: Railways 'cuts' power to passengers' amenities

Updated: Apr 22, 2020, 07:45 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

A senior official said that 30 per cent of power has been kept on. Both the railways in Mumbai follow similar protocols.

File pic
File pic

The unfamiliar silence at Mumbai's railway stations continues, as Wednesday marks exactly a month since passenger trains were shut in India from March 22. For the first time ever, all power systems of passengers' amenities at Mumbai suburban railway stations, which have always been live, have also fallen silent. Power supply for lifts and escalators has been switched off and station power systems, fan circuits, supply to waiting rooms, toilets has been reduced for the security of railway stations.

"The railways are not resting. They work day and night for freight and parcel trains and essential activities. But at the same time, it is a lockdown for passengers, who keep crowding stations at the slightest of rumours. The stations need to be safe and secure and in the absence of commuter crowd, one needs to ensure that there are no untoward incidents or any such activity. Hence for safety and security, we have switched off /reduced the power supply to important passenger amenities that are always on," Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Shivaji Sutar said. Skeletal staff of the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police are also present at stations.

Eight million (80 lakh) commuters use the Mumbai suburban railway every day and for the first time in history, not a single suburban train has run for such a long period.

"Power to lifts and escalators at stations has now been switched off and reduced to other public utility places like waiting halls, public toilets etc. These are all mega use places and securing them at this point of time is of utmost importance", Sutar added. The positive side of this is that it has led to 35 per cent power savings. A senior official said that 30 pc of power has been kept on. Both the railways in Mumbai follow similar protocols. "We are following precautions to keep stations safe and secure," Western Railway CPRO Ravinder Bhakar said.

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