A total of 610 more local train services — 314 by Central Railways (CR) and 296 by Western Railways (WR) — will run in Mumbai from 1 November.
The railways operated 3,141 suburban services — 1,774 CR and 1,367 WR before the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus disease was imposed.
“Currently, 704 suburban services on WR and 706 on CR are running. Additional services will be operated from 1 November. It is requested that travellers follow medical and social protocols as mandated for COVID-19,” according to a statement from CR and WR.
In a tweet, Goyal shared a joint release issued by the Central Railway and Western Railway, with the addition of these services, the number of special suburban services will be increased to 2020.
Of the 610 services, 314 will be run on the Central Railway network, while the remaining 296 will be plied on Western Railway, it was stated.
“Railways to run 610 more daily Special Suburban Services in Mumbai from 1 November, taking the total number of services to 2020. This will help maintain social distancing, avoid overcrowding & enhance passenger convenience,” said Goyal on Twitter.
The Railways has been operating 1,410 services on Mumbai’s suburban network, of which 706 are run on the Central line and 704 on Western Railway.
The Railways resumed local train services for persons employed in emergency and essential services on 15 June, and has recently allowed lawyers and foreign consulate staff to commute.
Earlier this week, the Maharashtra government proposed to the Railways to allow general public to board the suburban services during non-peak hours.
The Railways has, however, stated that it can only carry over 22 lakh passengers, instead of 80 lakh it used to ferry before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Railways has appealed to travellers to “follow medical and social protocols as mandated for COVID-19”.
The Maharashtra government had on 28 October proposed to the Railways that the general public be allowed to travel on Mumbai local trains, which are currently available only for essential services employees and a select group of people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Railway authorities appeared lukewarm to the proposal and on 29 October said only a little over 25% of the normal number of commuters can be carried while following social distancing.
The government had proposed to the Railway authorities that the general public be allowed to travel by Mumbai local trains during non-peak hours.
At present, only certain categories of persons, including essential services staff and women, can travel by local trains due to the coronavirus threat.
In a letter to the Railways, the state government had suggested that any person holding a valid ticket be allowed to board local trains till 7.30 in the morning, between 11 am to 4 pm and between 8 pm till the end of the day.
The time between 8 am to 10:30 am and 5 pm to 7.30 pm should be reserved for essential services staff having valid QR coded identity cards, and there should be ladies special trains every hour, the government had said.
All you need to know:
1. The railways are in discussions to start local train services for all commuters. The state government had on 28 October proposed to open suburban train services for the entire public.
- According to the proposal, any person with a valid ticket or pass can travel up to 7.30 am, then between 11 am and 4.30 pm, and between 8 pm and the last local train of the day.
3. It proposed to operate women-only local train services every hour.