Mumbai: Will there be no local trains for regular commuters this year?
Validity of e-passes issued to essential services workers raises questions about resumption of suburban services for all passengers
The validity of the e-pass issued to essential services workers travelling in Mumbai locals has led to speculations that the regular commuters might not be get permission to travel until the end of this year.
According to the government database, there are a total of 3.2 lakh essential services workers who need the e-passes, and over 1 lakh of them have received the QR codes to travel in local trains.
One of the employees in the BMC told mid-day that he received a link to a site where he filled in the required details, and got the QR codes within an hour. "My photo is on the left side and the details of my department, organisation, validity and QR code are on the right side. We were surprised to see that it is valid till December 30. It means there is no plan to allow other passengers any time soon," the employee said.
Siddhesh Desai, vice-president of Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh, said, "The government is acting without thinking and discussion with the concerned people. There are 75 lakh commuters and even by eliminating creamy layer workers, who can work from home, over 50 lakh passengers are sitting at home without any income."
"The state government allows national bank employees [to travel] but not private banks. It allows clerks in Mantralaya, but not private doctors. They allow us to rush in buses but there isn't any plan to allow common passengers," he added.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relation officer of Central Railway, said, "The validity has been given for a maximum period so that the passengers don't have to go through the process all over again." He reiterated that the status quo on all trains shall continue and regular passenger trains will remain suspended until further notice.
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