While few relaxations in the extended lockdown has been announced, life is slowly coming back on track & being made easier by Western Railway for Mumbaikars working in different essential services.
Currently, Western Railway is running 350 local train services on its Mumbai Suburban section only for essential services staff as identified by State Government.
WR is running a total of 161 services between Virar and Churchgate (82 in UP direction & 79 in DOWN direction), 7 services between Nallasopara and Churchgate, 2 services between Vasai Road and Churchgate, 2 services between Virar and Borivali, 2 services between Vasai Road and Borivali, 134 services between Churchgate and Borivali (70 in UP direction & 64 in DOWN direction), 6 services between Mahalaxmi and Borivali, 6 services between Churchgate and Dahanu Road, 2 services between Borivali and Dahanu Road and 28 services between Virar and Dahanu Road.
From 1st July, 2020, in addition to the essential staff already permitted to travel by select suburban services, the categories instructed by MHA i.e. defence personnel and employees of Central Government, Income Tax, GST & Customs and Department of Posts, and employees of Nationalised Banks, Mumbai Port Trust, Judiciary and Raj Bhavan have also been permitted to travel in these selected suburban services.
According to a press release issued by Western Railway, It is worth mentioning that as on 2nd July, 2020, Western Railway has issued 1,51,140 tickets since the services started from 15th June, 2020.
Western Railway has marked earnings of Rs. 108.34 lakhs from issuing of tickets and 10.82 lakh Mumbaikars serving as essential services staff have travelled over the Mumbai Suburban section in last 18 days from 15th June to 2nd July, 2020.
These services are being run with defined protocol & SOP, only for the movement of essential govt staff as identified by the State Govt. All trains and stations are regularly sanitized. WR has also deputed TTEs to ensure the convenience of valid ticket travellers.
While passengers are to follow social distancing norms, Western Railway in its efforts to implement social distancing smoothly has made more than 80,000 circle markings at stations to ensure it. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) staff have been deputed at all stations to assist and monitor passengers while ensuring social distancing.
Essential Services Staff expressing their joy and gratitude towards WR
Top to Bottom (L to R) – Shri Sandesh Mestry – GPO staff, Shri Ravindra Padghan – SBI employee, Smt. Purva Prashant Joshi – Borivali Court staff, Smt. Sushmita More – GST staff, Shri Dashrath Takke – Postman, Jacob Circle Post Office and Shri Pawan Kumar – GPO staff.
Shri Sandesh Mestry, a GPO staff said that he is delighted that the Central Govt. employees have been permitted to travel in the local trains for essential staff. He also informed that many employees come from far places and that their travelling time has shortened drastically as they used to reach office by buses earlier. He added that there are trains every 15 mins on Western Rly and RPF staff has been very kind in guiding passengers at stations.
Shri Ravindra Padghan, a staff of State Bank of India said that he travels from Vasai Road to Dadar to provide essential services to customers on daily basis. He was facing a tough time, when he was travelling by road but now that they have been allowed to travel from 1st July, he is really thankful to the Western Railway.
Smt. Purva Prashant Joshi, a Borivali Court staff appreciated the efforts of the Railways and said that she’s happy with the service as there are trains every 15 mins. She travels daily from Virar to Borivali to attend his office & then back to home in evening.
Smt. Sushmita More who is an employee of GST office at Bhayandar expressed her gratitude towards Govt. and Western Railway for the running of local trains & permitting them to travel, which has helped her reach her workplace easier from her residence at Vasai Road.
Shri Dashrath Takke, a postman of Jacob Circle Post Office shared that travelling to his workplace at Churchgate from his residence at Andheri was very difficult earlier and the running of local trains has eased this problem. He expressed his gratitude to Western Railway for starting the services for Central Govt. employees.
Shri Pawan Kumar, a GPO staff said that he is relieved that train services have been started for them too. He shared that Western Railway has ensured that social distancing is being maintained at all times. He thanked Hon’ble Railway Minister for this initiative.
Western Rly’s workforce containing its corona warriors of different categories, is working 24×7 to provide smooth & safe travelling experience to the Mumbaikars who are serving in essential services of State & Central government alongwith other categories as identified by State Government & thus the life line of Mumbai has once again started to continue the toughest ever fight against corona pandemic.