WR to introduce access control gates at Mumbai's Churchgate station by September-end
The railway authorities along with municipal corporations are also planning to implement a staggered train timetable for local trains in the Mumbai metropolitan region
To reduce overcrowding, railway authorities are planning to introduce an access control system at the Churchgate station in Mumbai and the system can be replicated at suburban stations too, a top official said.
GVL Satyakumar, divisional railway manager of the Western Railway's Mumbai division, said the railway authorities along with municipal corporations is also planning to implement a staggered train timetable for local trains in Mumbai region.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Satyakumar said access control gates will be introduced at Churchgate by September-end on 'pilot mode'.
Such gates can be installed at the Chhatrapati ShivajiMaharaj Terminus (CSMT) too, he hinted.
"We will be attempting to use the gate access with QR code based passes. If successful, the gates will be introduced at other suburban railway stations," he said.
Satyakumar, who is a nodal officer for suburban services run for essential and emergency workers, explained that the gates will be operated with the help of QR codes which have been issued to such workers at present.
Both the Central Railway and Western Railway are working on methods to introduce social distancing in train compartments besides making masks mandatory, he said.
The railways along with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) are working on creating specific office timings and tweaking local train timings to avoid overcrowding in trains and at stations, Satyakumar added.
"We are in discussion with MCGM and other municipal commissioners (of neighbouring cities) to see that these train times are staggered," he said.
The official also said that WR had converted 85 railway coaches into 'isolation coaches' for the treatment of COVID-19 patients at a cost of Rs 85 lakh, but they are lying unused.
"So far none of the state governments has requisitioned these coaches. They are still lying at the different locations in Mumbai division, at Bandra Terminus, Udhanav, Surat and other locations," he said.
He also informed that the Mumbai division operated 720 Shramik special trains, the highest 408 trains of them from Surat.
As of now, only monthly passes will be issued and children will have to provide their Aadhaar and school ID cards for verification at stations
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This decision was taken considering the increased flow of commuters, said an official
Apart from the restaurant, a mini-café and a separate takeaway window for juices will also be set up