Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday reiterated its plea to the Centre to restart suburban train services, the lifeline of Mumbai, for people engaged in providing emergency services.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray repeated the request which he has made a couple of times before to the Centre and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The country's commercial capital Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts are totally depending on the suburban trains, which transport over 85 lakh commuters daily.
"We want the local trains to start, but only for emergency services and the emergency service staffers in various departments," Thackeray said.
At the same time, he hinted that if people don't cooperate with the government in maintaining physical distancing, then the lockdown easing may be reviewed.
Transport Minister Anil Parab said it is necessary to resume train services for essential services like civic body staffers, hospital nurses, ward boys, conservancy and support staff, etc who need to commute long distance from their homes to workplaces through the suburban trains, which are the fastest and most reliable mode.
Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad made a similar demand, saying since service providers are not able to reach their hospitals, they cannot render critical life-giving services to the Covid-19 patients in the city.
Over 85 lakh people commute on the Central Railway and Western Railway on its 400 kms long network with 157 stations and more than 3,000 train services daily, serving the huge MMR population spread across over 6,300 square kms.
The MMR - comprising the four key districts - accounts for the maximum 2,216 Covid-19 deaths and 68,299 cases, followed by Pune.