Commuters in Mumbai’s Nalasopara neighbourhood took to the train tracks on Wednesday, urging the rail authorities to re-start local train services. The protests started after many workers said they could not find buses to reach to their workplaces.
In a bid to get the attention of the relevant authorities, commuters gathered on the railway tracks in Nalasopara and blocked the local train track, which is currently operated for essential services only.
A team of police officials tried to barricade the area, but protestors resorted to using physical force. Videos from the scene have gone viral on social media.
Nalasopara railway station in Palghar district of Maharashtra witnessed a heavy rush of commuters gathered & blocked the mumbai local line early on Wednesday after Mumbai state buses restricted the number of passengers it would ferry.@mumbairailusers @CMOMaharashtra@Dev_Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/iMlkDpo8L4— Himanshu Singh (@SinghHimanshu69) July 22, 2020
Essential and government staff enter the Nalasopara station of @WesternRly today morning and stopped the train in protest of closing of @msrtcofficial bus stand @fpjindia @CMOMaharashtra @AnilDeshmukhNCP @NarsiBenwal pic.twitter.com/hLqHbQmF4C— SwapnilRM (@srmishra319) July 22, 2020
With a total of 67,586 Coronavirus cases, Mumbai is one of India’s most affected cities, and public gatherings could lead to an explosion in COVID-19 cases; authorities said, while justifying the halt to train services.
Netizens are also pointing out that such impromptu and irresponsible gatherings could therefore be a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
Wonder people will make Corona PANDEMIC than cooperating to maintain distance by choosing modes maintaining distance as administration cannot afford to run jam packed trains like were oing earlier? Wonder people do not love their lives & protesting in this manner? Nalasopara— Vijay Chauhan (@Vijay_agneepath) July 22, 2020
@OfficeofUT @CMOMaharashtra Sir please stop The Local train service see people don't follow any rules and Regulations of social distancing,because of which the chinese virus covid would spread even more around the city— Yash Singh (@YashSin63716539) July 22, 2020
Where is social distancing all efforts will go vain if such incidents happen— Santosh Bharati (@Santosh40503638) July 22, 2020
In normal circumstances, over 8.5 million people commute daily on the suburban networks spanning Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad. Currently, only around 125,000 government employees, who are engaged in essential services, are using the local train services.