Rlys to work with Maha govt to run local trains for all

Indian Railways to work with Maharashtra govt to run local trains for all

As per the schedule, one ladies special train has been planned every hour

Women passengers deboard a local train after the authorities allowed them to commute. Credit: PTI Photo

Indian Railways administration has responded positively to the Maharashtra government proposal to run suburban trains in the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) for all.

Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), in a joint statement, informed that they would work with the state government on this issue.

More than 80 lakh normally people use Mumbai's suburban network daily, that is spread across six lines covering 390-odd kms and 157 stations in the Mumbai metropolitan region comprising five districts of Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban, Thane, Palghar and Raigad. The CR and WR totally run nearly 3,200 services daily.

However, because of Covid-19 lockdown, the services were shut and slowly opened for people providing essential services. Once the Unlock process started, restrictions were eased gradually.

As of now, the CR-WR are running 1,410 locals with a carrying capacity of close to 10 lakh passengers.

“It is worth mentioning that currently, Railways are running 1410 special suburban services.  As a part of the unanimously decided SOP, a maximum of 700 passengers can be seated in a 12 car EMU rake as per social distancing norms against 1200 passengers who can be seated. Therefore,1410 services are run in Mumbai Suburban section, having the total carrying capacity of approximately 9,80,000,” CR spokesperson Shivaji Sutar and WR spokesperson Sumit Thakur said in a joint statement.

“In this regard, it is clarified that Railways has always been ready to augment/enhance suburban services keeping social distancing norms. We are working closely with the Maharashtra government to provide additional services after consultation with them about necessary modalities accordingly,” they said.

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 in peak hours.

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.