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COVID-19: Mumbai's 'lifeline' local trains stopped till Mar 31

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

With the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Mumbai, the local and outstation train services have been suspended till March 31, but the government is running buses for those working in essential and emergency services, officials said on Monday.

Suburban trains are considered as the lifeline of Mumbai as over 80 lakh people travel in them everyday.

The Central Railway and the Western Railway operate over 3,000 services on suburban routes daily.

Nearly 43 lakh people travel by local trains of the Central Railway while 39 lakh people take the Western Railway's suburban services everyday.

"All the suburban services have been stopped from Sunday midnight till March 31," a railway spokesperson said.

However, services of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's BEST buses are operating on various routes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

"We have operated nearly 1,940 buses till 10 am on Monday," a BEST spokesperson said.

The Railway Board on Sunday afternoon decided to suspend suburban services along with all other passenger trains to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city and other parts of the country.

This is the first time in past several decades that suburban trains have been stopped.

Earlier in 1974, the suburban and long distance train services here were stopped for around 20 days due to trade union strike.

On Sunday, the railway authorities decided to suspend all the long distance passengers train services.

The suburban trains in Mumbai ran on Sunday at lesser frequency and only people working with emergency and essential services were allowed to travel.

With 14 new cases found in the past 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients increased to 38 in Mumbai on Monday, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

The Mumbai suburban network spreads from Churchgate to Dahanu on the Western Railway route and from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Kasara and Khopoli on the Central Railway's main line.

The Central Railway also runs services from CSMT to Mahim and Panvel on the Harbour line, from Thane to Vashi and Panvel on the Trans-Harbour line and also operates the Belapur-Seawood-Kharkopar line.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 15:54 IST