Kolkata: As local train services resumed in the Howrah, Sealdah and Kharagpur divisions of Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway on Wednesday (November 11), passengers jostled at several stations to catch the trains with compartments crammed. 

Doctors in the state expressed concern over flouting of COVID safety norms in suburban trains. They said that such violations are ideal for the spread of the virus, diminishing the gains made over the past few weeks in the fight against the contagion.

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On Wednesday, passengers thronged stations from as early as 8.30 am. It became difficult to maintain social distancing both at stations and on trains. Till 6 pm, the passenger’s count in both the Howrah and Sealdah divisions had reached nearly 23.8 lakh. 

Dr Anirban Dalui, a public health specialist said, “We can clearly see people are not abiding by the COVID-19 safety protocols and this is definitely a matter of concern for us. The problem is that those who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are travelling on the trains, risking the lives of people who are not taking proper precautions.”

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Dr Hiralal Konar of the Joint Platform of Doctors blamed improper planning by the state government and the railways for the violations.

The Bengal government and railways will meet today (November 12) to discuss a few issues and explore the possibility of augmenting things, like opening more ticket counters, more train services and better passenger dispersal.