The decision on starting local train in the commercial capital has become a headache for the state government, which tried every means to shift the decision making responsibility on somebody else, turning it a game of a football. In July, little after starting the local train for essential workers and employees, the state government wrote to the centre that they should tell the railways to start the local trains in the city and the railways should also take care of the security, screening and everything. That means if corona cases increased in the city, then they could easily blame on the railways. If everything should be done by the centre, then what is the state’s responsibility? What are you going to do?
Recently, when a bunch of lawyers filed a petition in the high court to allow lawyers to board the train, the state government happily responded saying “we don’t have any issue in starting the local trains for everyone”. Which means, they expected the High court to give an order to start the local trains, which High court smartly avoided doing it. Because their demand was just for the lawyers, not for the general public. Again, saheb can easily shift the blame on the court. Why should the court be blamed if the cases increase?
Finally, when nothing worked and looking at the anger of general public due to no decision on opening the temples in the festive season, the state government has written to the railways with the time slots for essential and non-essential services. I won’t call it as staggered timings, because that is a completely different thing. Kolkota has staggered timings with colour codes. What our state government has done is, again using a dual language in the official letter, have put the request to open the local train services, and at the same time also asked the railways to provide inputs.
That again means, if corona cases increases in the city, our saheb can blame the railways. Railways have sent the proposal to the railway board, and I see 3 possibilities from the railway ministry.
1) The railway board would give a green signal but would reduce the timings to half in all the slots, for the first 3 days or maybe a week. And then consider the state government suggested timings after that.
2) The railways could take a week to think over, and then come up with their own formula or solutions and write back to the state government, again throwing the football in the state government’s office.
3) The railways could accept the state governments decision straight away but could announce a future date for resumption of the local train services.
The common man is frustrated with this football game.