After a gap of two-and-a-half months, the Central and Western Railways resumes local train services in Mumbai from today. A limited number of suburban trains are allowed on tracks. However, the train services will not be available for the general public, railways said in a statement. Only essential service providers identified by the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be permitted to travel by the local trains.
The Central Railway will run 200 train services on its main line — between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane, Kalyan, Karjat and Kasara and the Harbour line — Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Panvel, the statement said. The Western Railways will run 73 pairs of suburban services including eight pairs between Virar and Dahanu Road, it further said. These trains will run from 05:30 am to 11:30 pm.
Approximately 1.25 lakh employees of essential services of state government are expected to commute by these special limited services. Tickets can be booked by showing government identification cards.
Only those with valid identification cards will be allowed to enter the station premises. Then a QR based e-pass will be provided to those who are travelling for easier ticket checking.
The personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and state police will be deployed at various stations. There will be multiple rounds of checking to ensure only essential service providers are boarding the trains.
Limited capacity: To maintain social distancing, the railways is planning to allow 700 passengers per local train. Usually, a local train can carry 1,200 passengers. The state government must ensure that all those who are allowed to travel are medically fit and do not come from the containment zone.
Ambulances will be kept at each station along with the medical staff to deal with any emergency situation by municipal corporations, the statement said.
The railways has asked the state governments to stagger office timings to avoid overcrowding at stations. There will not be any hawker in stations. The cars will not be allowed to park within 150 meters.
Mumbai local train services were suspended in March to curb the spread of COVID-19. Mumbai was the worst-hit by coronavirus pandemic in India with over 53,000 cases.