Local trains jam-packed after services resume
kolkata: On the first day of resumption of regular local train services on Monday after a nearly six-month hiatus, coaches were seen crammed.
However, commuters said they had no other option than to avail crowded trains.
The state government in a recent order allowed intra-state local train movement with 50 per cent seating capacity from October 31. Eastern Railway (ER), which carries the bulk of local and suburban passengers in its Howrah and Sealdah divisions, operated trains on Sunday as per its holiday schedule, while regular services started from Monday. As jam-packed rakes entered Howrah and Sealdah terminal stations during the morning office hours, ER spokesperson Ekalabya Chakraborty said efforts are being made to ensure that passengers abide by the Covid-19 safety protocols including maintaining distance and wearing masks. "We are making announcements at stations urging passengers to consciously abide by the safety guidelines," he said.
Chakraborty said a number of passengers have been penalised for not wearing masks at railway stations and in trains.
Chakraborty said the ER was advising people, especially the elderly, through public address systems at railway stations to avoid unnecessary travel. ER has decided to run more than 920 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains in its Sealdah division and over 480 trains in the Howrah division from Monday. The South Eastern Railway (SER), another zonal railway headquartered in the city, is running 48 EMU services in its Kharagpur division, an official said.
According to sources, the Eastern Railway made to pay fines to about 500 commuters in the two days of resumption of local train services.
Meanwhile, commuters at Nalpur station under Howrah Division and at Islampara halt station in Katwa line staged protests against the galloping system during office hours and demanded more services. The services were normalised after the intervention of the RPF. Input from agencies