First Special Train from Delhi Reaches Mumbai, Passengers Relieved

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Some passengers, however, also complained that after alighting from the train, they were forced to stand in a queue for a couple of hours for thermal screening and sanitisation of their baggage.

  • PTI Mumbai
  • Last Updated: May 14, 2020, 6:47 PM IST
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Nearly 54 days after the lockdown came into force, the first outstation train arrived at Mumbai Central station here from New Delhi on Thursday, with several passengers feeling happy at being back after about two months.

Some passengers, however, also complained that after alighting from the train, they were forced to stand in a queue for a couple of hours for thermal screening and sanitisation of their baggage.

The special passenger train started from New Delhi on Wednesday evening and reached Mumbai Central station at around 8.40 am on Thursday, according to railway sources.

The city civic personnel put the 'Home Quarantine' stamp on the hands of all passengers who arrived, asking them not to move out of their homes till May 20.

Before stamping their hands, personnel of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Railway

Protection Force conducted thermal screening of all the passengers and the Mumbai fire brigade sanitised their baggages with disinfectant.

However, a long queue and delay in the screening process upset some passengers as they were forced to stand for over two hours before being able to leave the station.

One of the passengers, K Lakhiyani, who was stranded at Kota in Rajasthan but managed to take the train from Delhi, said the long queue for screening and baggage sanitisation after arrival here moved quite slowly.

"I stood in the queue for almost two hours, said Lakhiyani, who thereafter rushed to Ulhasnagar township of neighbouring Thane district in a private vehicle.

A senior citizen, who did not wish to be named, said there was no arrangement for sitting in the queue and hence, he suffered back pain after standing for nearly two hours.

The railway security agencies with the Mumbai city police maintained tight security to avoid overcrowding and any law and order issue.

Several passengers had arranged private vehicles to reach their destination from the railway station, while some booked cabs.

The city civic body's transport wing BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) also arranged

buses for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) passengers who did not have any personal mode of transport.

Passengers who had to go outside MMR travelled in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses. For Priyambada Pande and her father, who is a cancer patient, the MSRTC bus proved helpful after a private cab driver from Pune did not turn up.

"My father is a cancer patient and I had taken him to Delhi for treatment on March 13. His treatment got over a month ago, but we were stuck there. We arrived here by train, but the cab driver ditched us, she said.

Most passengers were happy, saying they felt lucky to get the train ticket to return home.

"I am really happy to return after being stranded in Delhi for two months. I had gone there for a course which was till March end, but suddenly the lockdown was announced and I got stuck, said Supriya Singh, a student.

However, she added that she did not face any major issue in Delhi, all thanks to a generous woman with whom she was stayed as a paying guest.

Passengers also appreciated the precautions and care taken by the railway authorities during the journey.

"The railway authorities took care of everything. They were making regular announcements, asking passengers to maintain social distancing and to wear masks all the time, said Vipul Koli, a resident of Charkop area in Mumbai.

Another passenger, who did not wish to be identified, said travellers were also aware of the various guidelines and were taking proper care about maintaining social distance.

On Tuesday, the Indian Railways operated a special train carrying 1,107 passengers from Mumbai Central to New Delhi.

The Railways had stopped running passenger trains since March 22 this year, while only goods and parcel trains were being operated till May 1 in the wake of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Since the start of this month, the railway authorities are also operating Shramik special trains for ferrying the stranded migrant labourers to their native places.

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