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COVID-19 & its effect on Mumbai ’s train services

It has been over 6 months since Mumbai ’s lifeline – train services have been drastically limited in the wake of the coronavirus in the country.

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However, Mumbai’s train services are very important for bringing life back on the track, and also with this unlocking process, there is an increasing demand for the resumption of its normal services.

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Local train service & its importance in Mumbai

Mumbai is a linear city and for the north-south movement of the city’s workforce, Mumbai’s train services are very much crucial. In Mumbai, both the Western Railways and Central Railways run over an area of 319 km.

How many people use these services?

Before the outbreak of the pandemic in the city the Central Railways were used by 1,774 people while the Western Railways were used by 1,367 people each day.

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How many train services are running at present?

Mumbai’s train services were halted on March 23 during the lockdown. However the services partially resumed on June 15, but only those deemed to be essential service providers were allowed to board these trains after being allotted a special pass.

At present, the Western Railways and Central Railways together are not operating local trains to its full capacity. Western Railways are running with 37 percent capacity while Central Railways is operating at 24 percent capacity only.

Moreover, only government employees and essential services providers are using the service. The state also allowed the students who had to give exams to board the trains.

The Maharashtra government decided against resuming full service of the suburban trains to prevent “non-essential” travel out of concerns that gains made by Mumbai in the fight against coronavirus may be reversed if commuters crowd into trains.

Mumbai’s train services are purposeful and punctual however they are also overcrowded. Thus, increasing the chances of spreading the virus.

Meanwhile, a Covid-19 projection model by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has advised the staggering of office timings in order to avoid overcrowding in the locals.

 

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