Maharashtra govt to re-open local trains for all

Covid-19: Maharashtra government plans to re-open local trains for all

The CR-WR suburban train services are considered the lifeline of Mumbai, the network collectively used to run over 3,200 services daily, before pandemic

Ahead of a fresh set of Unlock guidelines, the Uddhav Thackeray-government was contemplating opening up local trains in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) for all, in a phased manner.

To take it forward, the Maharashtra government has written letters to General Managers of Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) and Commissioner of Police, Railways, Mumbai.

"The state is looking to open up the local train services to the general public while enduring adherence to Covid-19 protocols,” Kishore Raje Nimbalkar, Secretary, Disaster Management, Relief, and Rehabilitation, wrote to CR and WR chiefs.

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The state government has also prepared a schedule and mentioned the timings – according to which people who are not part of essential services will not be allowed to travel during peak hours. As per the schedule, one ladies' special train has been planned every hour. Any person with a valid ticket/pass would be able to travel from the first local to 7.30 am, 11 am to 4.30 pm, and 8 pm till the last local of the day.

People in essential services and valid QR-code will be allowed to travel between 8 am to 10.30 am and 5 pm to 7.30 pm.

According to Nimbalkar, the proposal will need additional train services that need to be planned out. “It is requested that the Railways may kindly give their inputs on the above proposed time schedule at the earliest,” he said.

The CR-WR suburban train services are considered the lifeline of Mumbai, the financial capital of India – and the network collectively runs over 3,200 services daily but now scaled down services are being run.

The total services on both the railway networks – spread across five lines are 1,500 and as of now only people working in essential services, State and Central governments, press, lawyers are allowed to use the services based on QR-code. The CR-WR administration will consult the Railway Board and decide on the future course.