In a big relief to the residents of Mumbai, the Maharashtra government announced that the local trains will be resuming their services from February 1st, 2021.
The local train services were suspended in March-end last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak and gradually resumed services later in the year. However, it was made accessible to only women or those providing essential services after obtaining a special pass. However, from Monday onwards it will be open to all categories of the public.
Now Western Railway has said that it will operate 1,300 trains instead of 1,201 from February 1. An additional 204 suburban services will be added to the existing 2781 services making it 2985 services on Mumbai suburban network. Besides, Central Railway will also increase the frequency of trains and operate 1685 trains instead of 1580 from Monday onwards.
The guidelines are as follows:
— Passengers can travel on the trains till 7 am from the start of the first local train. Later, they can avail of the service from 12 noon till 4 pm, and then post 9 pm will the end of the service.
— The local train services will be restricted to the essential services staff during the peak hours from 7 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm.
— State Government authorities will also be requesting all the above establishments to stagger their work schedule in a manner wherein the staff of the same will be able to avail the services of the local trains in the timings mentioned above.
— The State Government has also directed that shops will be allowed to operate till 2300 hrs and restaurants will be allowed to operate till 1 am. However, a 30% limit for staff will continue to be in force, and the above establishments will be allowed to operate as per the SOPs issued for the daily operations by various departments of the State Government.
The railway authorities have also requested travelers to follow the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to COVID-19 during the travel.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had recently chaired a meeting to discuss the complete resumption of local train services. The meeting was attended by state government officials, Railway officials and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials. The Mumbai traffic control department reportedly sent a letter to station masters informing them to resume the train services on full schedule from the date declared by the government.