opinion

Lockdown 2.0 is about to end, and probably the 3rd is in the pipeline for the Mumbai city, maybe with some relaxations. No matter what relaxations we receive, the one thing I am sceptical about is our Mumbai local train which seems untouchable for now.

Will there be a sanitisation tunnel at every station, if yes then how many, since there are so many entrances at every railway stations in Mumbai, both on the east and west sides, how will the RPF handle the crowd, especially during peak hours.

Will it be feasible to bring some restrictions for a number of passengers allowed in each bogie. A local train for the capacity of 1200, is used by 4000 people every day. Even if the government would put some passenger restrictions, what about the sanitisation inside the train.

The gate pole that people use to get in the train, the handles installed above for the standees, and around, the fan and light switches are going to be scary and untouchable. The local train goes for full cleaning every 18 days, will the railways sanitise these locations in the train, and for how many times, will it be daily or weekly?

I mean people are going to fear to touch these places. Many would avoid trains for I don’t know how many months, opting for a cab, rickshaw, motorbike, and maybe a bicycle. Some would come up with an idea of waking up early and catching a train that has less crowd like 5.30 am or so, and leave the office by 3 pm. What if half of the population in the city opts for this idea.

Some would opt for a first-class, and all of a sudden, there would be a higher demand for that expensive AC train, which usually runs empty. Some would be unhesitant in travelling in the Mumbai local trains generally as they did in the past, with a thought “Everything is in God’s hand, so why worry”.

People will fear the cleanup official guy on vigilance, who would fine you for not wearing a face mask, spitting or any such activity, then they would fear the TTE (travelling ticket examiner).

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