The Maharashtra government on Friday decided to allow the general public to travel by the local trains in Mumbai from 1 February in fixed time slots.The decision was taken after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s review meeting on the issue of resumption of suburban train services, considered as the lifeline of Mumbai, for all members of the public.
For now, the government has decided that the general public will be allowed to travel before 7 am, between 12 noon and 4 pm, and then again after 9 pm.
“The local train services will be restricted to the essential services staff only as is being permitted currently from 7 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm,” an order issued by the Maharashtra government read.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar has asked the Chief General Managers of Western and Central Railway to allow local train commuters to travel as per the laid down schedule, reported news agency PTI.
In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, only some categories of commuters, such as women and those providing essential services, are allowed to take local trains in Mumbai after obtaining a special pass at present.
The suburban train services were suspended in March-end last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and gradually resumed from June 2020.
Before the coronavirus-induced lockdown in March last year, around 80 lakh passengers used the local train services in Mumbai. At present, there are 20 lakh passengers and if reports are to be believed then the number may not touch 80 lakh again anytime soon as many people are working from home now.
The decision to resume Mumbai locals comes minutes after the Maharashtra government today extended its lockdown restrictions till 28 February.
“Activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned with this order and shall remain in force up to 28 February,” reads the Maharashtra government statement.
The order also said that the existing guidelines will be strictly implemented by all the departments of the Maharashtra government.
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