Following protests and chaos at various railway stations, the state government decided to extend the timing of the last train to 10pm instead of 7pm.
At various railway stations, commuters swarmed the platforms fearing that they would miss the last train at 7 pm as per the initial notification. Uncertainty and confusion prevailed. After yesterday’s restrictions order, the Eastern Railway announced the last local at 7pm while the South Eastern Railway decided to terminate the services at that time.
In the evening, there was pandemonium in stations like Howrah, Sealdah, Bidhannagar and Burdwan where passengers were fighting for space to catch the train. At Howrah Station, a large number of commuters protested in front of the station master room demanding to push the timing of the last local train. Similar scenes were reported from Sealdah, Bidhannagar and Dasnagar railway stations.
The decision brought relief to the commuters who had gathered in huge numbers at various stations. Covid protocols were flouted as mammoth crowds at platforms and passengers crammed inside coaches. Sources claimed that ensuring a 50 per cent occupancy inside coaches was a difficult task, commuters felt abiding by the norm amid the prevailing situation was an onerous task.