For a city that carries this massive reputation of never being at rest, for functioning round the clock (24*7), who would’ve expected the Mumbai local trains to come to a standstill? Where 2020 is concerned, it may no longer be safe to say that if the perspective of a year could be compared to an examination, then it would suffice to say 2020 came out out syllabus.
None expected it to happen the way it eventually did. Mumbai is not only one of the fastest-growing cities of India, but one that’s home to not only those hailing from Maharashtra; with hundreds of thousands flogging to the economic capital of India from different corners and parts of the country.
You could be anyone- a businessman, a growing entrepreneur, a successful stock broker, an advertising executive, a pharam distributor, an actor, a theatre veteran- Mumbai is the city that’s the quintessential home of crores of people who look at it with a curiousness and a sense of hope.
So against that narrative, it never occurs to be truly surprising to note the kind of manic rush- if you were to take an example- that is for all to see at the Churchgate station, right in the heart of South Mumbai.
This rush hour that begins each morning, not Monday alone, and goes until the late evenings mark the ‘everyday’ in the life of a hardworking Mumbaikar. The one who dreams, the one who aspires. But there came 2020 when none expected it, befalling upon everyone a crushing of hope (of sorts) stemming from an absolute cancellation of the Mumbai local trains.
Who would have hopped onto the Mumbai local trains anywhere against the nerve-wracking pandemonium that set about disturbing not just the peace of the ‘filmy’ city, but also of much of the country?
And now, clearly after a quarter of a year spent in the lockdown and hence, amid absolute cancellation of public utilities and services, it appears that the Mumbai local trains are finally going to return to the state of normal operation.
And therefore, it is believed that the Mumbai local trains-ever a lifeline of citizens from all walks of life- are going to be back on from the first week of September, in 2020.
A report from the popular website Business Insider happened to publish the following:
As of now, a limited number of suburban trains are operating in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from June 14. However, where it stands at present, then passengers who are engaged in ‘essential services’ can only use the services.
The list of essential services did not include bank employees or media persons.
The government identified over 125,000 employees who are part of the essential services of the state government. In fact, to simply understand the kind of daily dependence that the Mumbai local trains provide for the locals can be made from a mighty statistic:
Before the lockdown, the amount of Mumbaikars that availed the service of the Mumbai local trains measured around 8.5 million passengers in the suburban networks spanning Mumbai. This included the regions of Palghar, Raigad, Thane, and Mumbai.
And in accordance to the news regarding the resumption of the local trains services, the Mumbai Home Ministry of Home Affairs is likely to issue new guidelines come August 31.