Migrants arrive at a railway station in a bus to board a train to their home state of Uttar Pradesh during an extended lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, May 20, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
MUMBAI – Mumbai has commenced limited railway operations within the city, after over two months of shutdown, for 125,000 employees providing essential services from Monday.
Spread over 390 km, Mumbai railway network popularly termed as the city’s lifeline carried over 7.5 million commuters daily in normal circumstances till March 23 when it was shut down as part of a nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement issued by the Railways said that it will operate 390 services across its three lines of western, central and harbor and will not be available for the general public.
“Entry will be given at stations strictly through ID cards of essential staff as identified by the State Government. Later on, the staff will be issued QR based E-passes which will also bear color coding to enable swifter ticket checking. To allow adequate social distancing in the coaches, unlike its seating capacity to accommodate about 1,200 persons, only about 700 are to be allowed per train,” said the railway statement.
India’s western state of Maharashtra, with Mumbai as its capital, will ensure that all those allowed to travel are medically fit and do not come from containment zones, the statement said.
The mass railway transport system in India’s financial capital is the busiest in the world going by annual ridership of 2.64 billion, carried through 2,342 services daily across its three lines in normal circumstances.
So far, Maharashtra is the worst-hit Indian state by COVID-19 with 53,017 active cases with 3,950 deaths, including 28,959 active cases and 2,190 deaths from Mumbai.
The state accounts for close to 35 percent of all COVID-19 cases in India, which is now ranked fourth among all countries and regions for the number of confirmed cases. As on Monday morning, India had 153,106 active cases with 9,520 deaths reported so far.