Mumbai: Here's why city local trains are running jam-packed during lockdown

Updated: May 23, 2020, 19:09 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

As videos of crowded trains go viral, unions allege higher-ups demand 100 per cent attendance, forcing railway workers to put themselves at risk by disregarding social distancing norms.

Screenshots from the videos that have gone viral
Screenshots from the videos that have gone viral

As railway workshops and maintenance shed opened following the gradual lifting of lockdown, trade unions have alleged that local trains run for internal movement of staff are functioning jam-packed without any physical distancing.

A few videos have gone viral on social media showing employees wearing masks but sitting very close to each other.

"COVID-19 has hit Mumbai hard and such things will prove very dangerous," an employee said. He was, however, unable to verify the videos.

"We have already raised the issue of staggering duty hours, inadequate transport facility and further, we have forecasted serious repercussions if the divisions continue to call staff in full strength. We have sought immediate intervention of the General Manager to address this issue, but we not received any reply yet," National Railway Mazdoor Union General Secretary Venu P Nair said.

"Now, most of the branch officers have called for 100 per cent attendance at Matunga workshop and this is leading to crowding inside the coaches," he added.

"Since the requirement of staff is increasing, we are opening departments and workshops in a staged manner. Also to maintain social distancing more special trains are being used," a senior official said hinting that the videos need to be authenticated and that they would look into the matter.

Despite repeated attempts, Railways refused to comment for this report.

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