Mumbai: BJP seeks resumption of local train services; holds protests
Several BJP leaders in Maharashtra on Friday participated in protests held by the party in Mumbai to press for the demand that those common citizens, who have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccines, be allowed to travel by suburban trains. Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, also took part in a protest at Churchgate station.
'How are people supposed to reach their offices,' questioned BJP
Darekar said, "The government is allowing people to travel by other modes of transport, but not by local trains. People who have got both vaccines can even travel by plane, but local trains are still not open for them." "The state government has allowed private offices to operate at full capacity. In this scenario, how are people supposed to reach their offices?" he asked.
State government should not play with lives of citizens: Patil
Meanwhile, the BJP's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, who staged a protest at Sion, said, "The financial condition of low-income groups has already worsened due to the pandemic. If these people are fully vaccinated, then they should be allowed to board the local trains." "The state government should not play with the lives of the common man," he said.
Only government employees, essential services staffers allowed on local trains
The suburban train services in Mumbai were suspended for the general public in April this year due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. At present, only government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel on local trains.
Decision on the matter will be taken with responsibility: Thackeray
Notably, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said on Thursday that his government was considering resuming suburban train services in Mumbai for all commuters and a decision in this regard would be taken with responsibility. Moreover, the Bombay High Court has also asked the state government to form a committee of experts to work out solutions for access to local train services for vaccinated citizens.
Consider issuing 'common cards' for fully vaccinated citizens: HC
According to The Indian Express, the court also asked the state government to consider issuing "common cards" for fully vaccinated citizens to identify and allow them to travel through all utilities.
TV Journalists Association alleged that RPF disrupted their work
Meanwhile, the TV Journalists Association alleged that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) pushed some reporters and camerapersons and disrupted their work at Charni Road station. "Journalists had gathered at the station to cover the BJP's protest. However, the RPF personnel pushed some reporters and camerapersons away. We condemn this use of force," a statement issued by the association said.
Lawyers, journalists have also filed petitions for the same
Notably, several lawyers, citizens, and Marathi Patrakar Sangh have also filed various petitions in High Court to declare lawyers, journalists, and other staff of the media industry as essential frontline workers and allow them to travel in local trains.