Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a crucial decision on suspending Mumbai's lifeline, the local train services, for a few days, as one of the measures of 'social distancing' to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here on Tuesday.
Not just the local trains, the suspension could also extend to the BEST the Mumbai Metro and monorail services, reported The Free Press Journal's Sanjay Jog.
The matter will be discussed at the state cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon as the government is firm that the coronavirus must not be allowed to spread from 'Phase II to Phase III' at any cost.
UPDATE: Maha cabinet decides train services will not be stopped.
Mumbai's train service is often considered its lifeline and a complete halt in services has the potential to paralyse the city.
Sprawled across the Central Railway and spread over the Main, Harbour and trans-Harbour lines, plus the Western Railways, the suburban trains are the lifeline of Mumbai which ferry over 8.50 million commuters daily serving Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts.
"There are options -- like fumigating all train coaches, limiting the number of commuters to the seats available in each bogey to avoid crowding -- being considered other than completely stopping the local train services," Tope said.
India has so far recorded 129 positive cases and Maharashtra,with 39 cases has the highest number of victims. Three people, including one person from Mumbai has succumbed to the virus.
He had had a travel history to Dubai and had been suffering from several other health ailments, officials said.
(With inputs from agencies)