Mumbai's suburban train services restored after 11 months

幻灯图集 ( 4张图片 )

MUMBAI (Reuters) - One of the world’s busiest urban rail systems situated in India’s financial capital Mumbai was restarted for all commuters on Monday, 11 months after it was shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection in the city.

An average of eight million people were using the train services daily before the pandemic. Operations were stopped in March last year, as part of a strict lockdown imposed by the government.

Only government workers in “essential services” were allowed to travel on the train network after it was partially opened in June.

On Monday, commuters trickled into still empty train coaches, wearing masks and armed with sanitisers.

“From today, regular commuters will be allowed to travel, but only during non-peak hours,” said Sumit Thakur, a spokesman for Western Railways.

Mumbai has been one of worst affected cities, recording more than 300,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths since March.

“It was really bad when trains were shut. I live far away and to travel to college took a long time,” said Disha Maurya, a 16 year-old student before she boarded a train.

India has recorded the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, but its daily case count has dipped sharply in the last few months.

It recorded 11,427 COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Monday, taking its total caseload to 10.7 million. More than 154,000 people have died in the outbreak.

Reporting by Hemanshi Kamani in Mumbai and Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Panaji, editing by Ed Osmond