COVID-19 in Mumbai: No social distancing, no masks, no protocols at Dadar station

Updated: 13 August, 2020 08:27 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Though authorities insist they screen passengers for COVID symptoms, image of thousands of people spilling out at busy station raises concerns

Passengers arrive at Dadar station on August 7
Passengers arrive at Dadar station on August 7

Where are the rules? While authorities claim that every single person entering the state follows mandatory COVID-19 protocols, a commuter's experience and photographs at Dadar station, on the eastern side, reveal a shocking and worrying picture.

On August 7 around 7 pm, my visit to Dadar coincided with the arrival of passenger trains. As the passengers exited the station and spilled on to the streets, there was complete chaos. No social distancing, no masks and no protocols," said Dombivli resident Sudam Gite, who took pictures to highlight the issue.

Taxis lined up at Dadar East outside the station
Taxis lined up at Dadar East outside the station

"First, one train arrived and there was crowd. As it was dispersing, another train arrived, spilling more crowd on the street. Taxis and vehicles clamoured to reach the crowds and it all like pre-COVID times," he said.

'Quarantine must, so?'
"The government and BMC insist that every citizen coming into the city must quarantine, the officer from Patna police in the Sushant Singh Rajput case was put in quarantine — but the reality on the ground is somewhat different. Local trains and trains to Konkan are not being run over COVID-19 fears, then why are people from other states are being allowed into our city unguarded? Will the authorities explain the logic behind this?" he said.

Also Read: Mumbai Rains: Portion of house collapses in Dadar, caught on camera

Sudam Gite, Dombivli resident
Sudam Gite, Dombivli resident

We are screening travellers
Railway officials said that there are about 230 trains in operation across the country and passengers are being screened before entry into the station and stamped before exiting.

"There are medical teams stationed at the exit points where they take thermal readings and pulse oximeter readings before the passenger leaves. Those with asymptomatic signs are stamped for home quarantine for 14 days and there is coordination with local bus transport system and taxis to ferry people," a railway spokesperson said.

The railways are trying to stagger the arrival timings of trains at same stations so that no two trains arrive too close to each other to avoid crowds, he added.

While BMC officials remained unavailable for comment, passenger associations too blasted authorities.

Unrestricted access
"Why do people and authorities not understand that these are difficult times and such lapses could lead to bigger problems? The railways should be staggering timings of trains so that they do not arrive one after the other," Subhash Gupta, member of National Railway Users Consultative Committee said.

'Fix lacunae'
"It is surprising that this is happening at a major station like Dadar and the lacunae should be fixed as it could lead to the spread of the virus further," said Shailesh Goyal, member of Western Railway's Zonal Consultative Committee said.

He added, "I too have an example. I visited Borivli station on Wednesday and was shocked to find that all the entry/exit points at the station have not been secured and there are just loose ropes put up which anyone can bypass. The skywalk is linked to all platforms and it gives unhindered access to the platform, which is incorrect."

Aug 7
Day Sudam Gite visited Dadar station

Time Gite took the photos

No. of special long distance trains that have been made operational accros the country

Approx. no. of people (in lakhs) who travel in these trains daily

BEST flouting COVID rules: ex-employee

Passengers seen on a bus
Passengers seen on a bus

A former BEST traffic officer Prashant Sane has alleged that the BEST buses and depots have not been following COVID-19 protocols and social distancing as per the requirement leading to dangerous situations not just for the staff, but for passengers as well. He said the BEST undertaking should be more stringent in implementing the guidelines for safety of one and all.

BEST employees at a depot
BEST employees at a depot

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First Published: 13 August, 2020 07:01 IST

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