Local train services for all commuters in Mumbai will begin operations from today. The announcement in regard to this development was made by Union railways minister Piyush Goyal on Friday after the Maharashtra government proposed to resume the services for all commuters.
As per the state government's announcement on Friday, the trains will be available in three-time slots to avoid crowding during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Passengers will be able to 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 till the end of the day. During the rest of the hours, the trains will be open only for those in essential services such as frontline workers, healthcare staff, and others. Women travellers are allowed to avail the services freely during peak hours.
The government has also urged offices to go for staggered working hours to ensure less crowding in trains. The authorities have asked people travelling in local trains to follow Covid-19 protocols.
Mumbai locals which are considered to be the lifeline of the financial capital of the country were suspended on March 22 with the onset of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the services of the local trains were resumed for the emergency and essential services staff in June last year. Later on, the authorities permitted women to travel in locals during the non-peak hours.
The Maharashtra government also extended the coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions in the state till February 28. "The state is threatened with the spread of COVID-19 virus and the government feels the need to take emergency measures," read a circular issued by the state government.
Till Friday night, there were 20,18,413 coronavirus positive cases in the state, where 50,944 people have succumbed to the infection.