Pune: After the government’s decision to shut down Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pimpri Chinchwad, people from other states, especially northern states, working in Pune thronged the railway stations in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to head back home.
Pune is home to many people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Friday saw a rush of such passengers after the Railways announced one special train from Pune to Danapur, Ballarshah, Gorakhpur and Howrah.
As per information provided by a senior officer of Pune Railway Division, “The Central Railway had announced trains on Thursday but the shutdown was declared on Friday. On Friday, a large number of passengers gathered at the station premises. On the second day i.e. Saturday, the situation remained the same. Thousands arrived at the station to board the train.”
Most of the passengers who left the city on Friday and Saturday are working as contractual labour.
This is happening despite the Railway Ministry advising people not to travel by train unless necessary.
“The Railways have found some cases of coronavirus infected passengers, which makes train travel risky.
Avoid train travel as you may also get infected if your co-passenger has coronavirus. Postpone all journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” said a statement issued by the Railway Ministry.
Jagdeo Mahto, a 29-year-old working as a contractual labourer in the city, said , “I got to know on Friday that the city is closed and no work will be done. I earn Rs 750 every day working as a labourer. It is difficult to live without work. How will people like us carry on with no money? I decided to leave and will return after the situation normalises.”
Meanwhile, Pune Railway division spokesperson Manoj Jhanwar informed that sanitisation of all trains is being done with special instructions to the housekeeping staff to maintain hygiene.