The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday demanded that Maharashtra and Central governments to resume local trains, metro, and supplementary bus services for Mumbaikars.
AAP in a statement said that the Maharashtra and Central governments should work together with BMC to find a solution wherein citizens can travel without the fear of contracting COVID-19. "We need the local train and metro services to run in full steam and the bus services to be enhanced, even if it means hiring private buses to meet the demand. At the present moment, social distancing norms are completely ignored in buses due to overcrowding and despite the government involving state transport vehicles the citizens of Mumbai and Thane are still traveling in cramped up spaces despite the fear of coronavirus," the party said.
AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon slammed the state government and said that the party will share visuals of bus stop queues and crowded buses that are putting public health to risk.
"Mumbai's local train services and BEST bus services are not running at full capacity, and this hits the weaker income group and middle class the most as they don't have the luxuries of private vehicles and cannot afford taxis. The last 6 months have been very hard on the common people and now that workplaces have opened, travel has become a nightmare for all. The BMC and State Government are ignoring the problem like ostriches and if they can't see then AAP will be happy to provide them with visuals of bus stop queues and crowded buses that are putting public health to risk. I ask all our volunteers to post photos and videos with time date and location to our Chief Minister so he can see beyond the tinted glasses of his bulletproof luxury car," Preeti Sharma Menon said.
AAP demanded that the BMC and state government should come up with a plan to bring relief to Mumbaikars by not just resuming full strength but doubling it so that people can travel safely, and with social distancing.
The local trains were suspended for the general public since the lockdown began on March 22. The Western Railway and Central Railway resumed their Mumbai suburban services over the mainline and Harbour line on June 15. These special suburban services were only for general passengers/public and were strictly meant for ‘essential staff’ as identified by the state government. Those working in the private sector cannot use them, due to which most of them are struggling to reach their workplaces.