Desperate times call for desperate measures. With local trains off-limits for general public, people who have to travel long distances for work are resorting to desperate measures.
According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, while only certain categories of essential workers are allowed to travel through local trains, others are making fake ID cards to get on the trains. One such incident came to light on August 15, when a FIR was registered against man named Jamaluddin Ansari (33) for travelling by local trains using a fake BMC ID. Ansari was caught after he got down on platform 1 at Wadala station. A ticket checker asked him for ticket and ID card that claimed he was an essential Covid-19 worker with the BMC's public health department.
But, the ticket checker immediately got suspicious and asked Ansari for more details. He was later taken for inquiry where he admitted to the police that he worked at a retail clothes store, not the BMC. Ansari told the cops that his employer had given him the fake ID card.
As per the report, it's not just about fake IDs. Western Railway officials carried out surprise checks at Nallasopara station on August 12 and found at least 25 people without tickets. Long-distance commuters told the tabloid that they weren’t just paying extra in terms of money, but also time and health.
A Virar resident, Dinesh Sarfare, told the newspaper that he spends Rs 250 to Rs 300 a day on transport and takes atleast three hours to reach the office.
The Western Railway and Central Railway resumed their Mumbai suburban services over mainline and Harbour line on June 15. These special suburban services were only for general passengers/public and will be strictly meant for ‘essential staff’ as identified by the state government.