The number of commuters on suburban trains of the Western Railway (WR) reduced by more than 8 lakh on the day Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to people to avoid non-essential travel in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
According to WR, on Tuesday 32.60 lakh passengers travelled on their suburban trains as against 40.75 lakh on Monday (down 8.15 lakhs).
“The number of commuters reduced by around 25 per cent,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson of WR.
On Tuesday, Mr Thackeray had appealed to people to avoid train and bus journey if not necessary, while clarifying the government does not want to stop suburban services to contain the coronavirus spread.
Suburban services are the lifeline of Mumbai and daily over 80 lakh commuters commute by them.
Though exact passenger count on Central Railway’s suburban trains was not available, a senior official said the number of passengers could have reduced by 7-9 lakh on Tuesday.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to reduce public transport commuter count by at least 50 per cent as part of measures to avoid crowding and enforce social distancing.