Both Central and Western Railway authorities intimated the state government at the last moment that permission would not be granted without carrying out an assessment of the additional burden of passengers in train services.

The Congress, which is part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition authorities that additionally includes the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are locked in a tussle over the reopening of temples and suburban trains, regardless of the raging coronavirus illness (Covid-19) outbreak.

The BJP had tried to nook the MVA coalition authorities over the reopening of temples in Maharashtra final week, however now the Congress has questioned the railways’ refusal to provide entry to ladies in suburban practice companies –a lifeline for the densely populated Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) – regardless of the state authorities’s order that was issued on October 16.

Sachin Sawant, basic secretary, Maharashtra Congress Committee (MCC) and a celebration spokesperson, on Tuesday raised the query and alleged that the Railways has intentionally barred ladies from availing suburban practice companies on the Centre’s insistence.

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“The state government held four meetings with the Railway officials regarding allowing women commuters to travel by suburban trains in the MMR during non-peak hours from October 17. However, on October 16, railway authorities expressed their inability to give permission. There is a standard operating procedure (SOP) in place as far as train services are concerned. Why does Railways want a fresh permission?” Sawant questioned.

On October 16, the state authorities had introduced plans to permit all ladies commuters to journey by suburban trains from the next day.

However, each Central and Western Railway authorities intimated the state authorities on the final second that permission wouldn’t be granted with out finishing up an evaluation of the extra burden of passengers in practice companies.

The Congress alleged that it was a deliberate try and cease ladies from commuting by trains and blamed the Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal for the “arbitrary decision”.

Sawant mentioned ladies commuters have been being compelled to make use of different modes of conveyance, which weren’t solely inflicting them inconvenience however had additionally raised security considerations.

He took potshots on the BJP’s state management for its radio silence over the difficulty though it’s vocal in regards to the reopening of temples. He cited the continuing Navratri pageant, as a celebration of ladies energy.

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Earlier final week, the BJP had cornered the state authorities over the reopening of temples and had staged statewide protests outdoors shrines.

The BJP state unit’s high brass had tried to place the MVA coalition authorities on the mat by citing that the latter was oblivious to the general public’s religion though it had allowed liquor outlets to reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had additionally written to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray taunting him over his intransigence about reopening locations of worship.

Central Railway authorities have responded to Sawant’s allegations.

“Railway is in full preparedness and is running 1,406 special suburban services. We have added 419 services to the existing 987. State government authorities are requested to finalise the modalities because of the Covid-19 pandemic and convey them to us,” Central Railway authorities tweeted.

However, Sawant was not assuaged by the Central Railway authorities’ clarification.

“There are around four lakh people, who belong to essential services and commute by suburban trains daily. A Covid-19-related SOP is in place. No new directives are needed. Besides, railways has the data about estimated women passengers,” he argued.

Chief secretary Sanjay Kumar has written a letter to Central and Western railways instructing them to implement the choice on the earliest. “As per the decision taken during joint meetings with all the stakeholders, we have requested you to allow all women commuters to travel during non peak hours from October 17. The decision is yet to be implemented. The women commuters may be allowed to board the trains at the earliest,” the letter learn.

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