A sea of people at Howrah station at 5.40pm on Monday, the first day of the fresh curbs to check Covid cases.
The 7pm deadline on local trains triggered stampede-like situation at Howrah, Sealdah, Dum Dum, Bidhannagar and several other stations.
Thousands of people from the suburbs scrambled to get a slot on the “last trains” unaware of the extension of the deadline till 10pm, announced in the evening.
On paper, the state government has asked the railways to operate local trains with 50 per cent seating capacity. In reality, there was no place to stand on many trains in the Sealdah and Howrah suburban sections during peak hours.
Railway officials said crowd control was impossible on suburban trains. “Apart from enforcing the mask mandate, there is very little that we can do,” said an official of Sealdah division.