Maharashtra govt plans to start Mumbai local train services for general public soon, proposes time schedule

Maharashtra govt plans to start Mumbai local train services for general public soon, proposes time schedule

The biggest question that most Mumbaikars have on their minds is when local trains will be allowed for the general public. The local train services (Mumbai local) are termed as the lifeline of the city but the services had to be shut when the country went into a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The services were re-started in a staggered manner to avoid overcrowding. Initially, only people engaged in essential services were allowed to travel via local trains. However, with the passage of time, others are being given permission to travel via local trains.

On Wednesday, the state government has submitted a proposal to the railway authorities to allow the general public to travel by local trains during nonpeak hours. Disaster Management Secretary Kishore Raje Nimbalkar has written a letter in this regards to the Western Railway (WR), the Central Railway (CR) and the Commissioner of Police (Railways).

To avoid overcrowding and to ensure that the coronavirus guidelines are adhered to, the proposal suggested a set of time slots. As per the proposal, anyone with a valid ticket or pass will be able to travel via a local train between the first service and 7.30 am, 11 am to 4.30 pm and from 8 pm to the last service. The slots of 8.30 am to 10.30 am and 5 pm to 7.30 pm will be reserved for people engaged in essential services and have a QR code for travel. There will also be a special train for women commuters every hour.

In response to this, WR and CR have issued a joint statement which reads, that they have got the letter dated 28th October 2020 from the state government regarding resuming of local train services for the general public while ensuring adherence to all Covid-19 protocols. In order to ensure this, several time slots have been proposed by the State Govt. and also request has been made to increase the frequency of local trains to meet the demand of proposed customers. State Govt. has also requested Railways to provide inputs on the proposed time schedule.  

It is worth mentioning that currently, Railways are running 1,410 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,1,410 services are run in Mumbai Suburban section, having the total carrying capacity of approx. 9,80,000.

The statement also put forward its point and that it is ready to augment/enhance Suburban services keeping social distancing norms. We are working closely with Maharashtra  Govt. to provide these additional services after consultation with them about necessary modalities accordingly

This development comes ahead of the new unlock guidelines that the state will issue for the month of November.

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