Mumbai: Hundreds of irate commuters staged an impromptu 'rail-roko' agitation at Nalasopara station demanding resumption of regular suburban train services after it was discontinued as COVID cases increased in the area.
The commuters said they were stranded as the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) which operates services to Mumbai, Thane and Raigad, allegedly stopped plying the buses on Wednesday.
Left in the lurch, the commuters marched to Nala Sopara station, many squatted on the tracks, halting the special local trains, and demanding they should be allowed to travel regularly using the suburban locals and not just on special services.
Later, the GRP reached the spot and managed to disperse the commuters crowds peacefully. Commuters from Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad have been demanding that the local train services -- the lifeline of the country's commercial capital -- be resumed immediately or more categories of workers be permitted to travel by the special services being operated since a month.
An official of the Western Railway talking to India TV said, "The incident was reported at nearly 8:15 am today.” "The commuters were furious over the non-availability of buses that otherwise ferry them to their workplace, following which they blocked the railway tracks," he added.
Interestingly, these four districts -- which comprise the sprawling Mumbai Metropolitan Region -- has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities.
(With inputs from IANS)