Some local trains in Mumbai have resumed from today only for those engaged in essential services amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet, the Western Railway said that general passengers are not allowed in these trains and asked people not to crowd at stations.
"Western Railway have decided to resume their selected suburban services over WR w.e.f. Monday, 15th June, 2020 with defined protocol & SOP, only for movement of essential staff as identified by the State Government," the railways tweeted on Sunday.
The first such train left from Virar for Churchgate this morning, an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. The trains will run from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm with an interval of 15 minutes. "Maximum services will run between Churchgate and Virar, but few will also run up to Dahanu Road," the railways said.
Kind Attention :- Western Railway have decided to resume their selected suburban services over WR w.e.f. Monday, 15th June, 2020 with defined protocol & SOP, only for movement of essential staff as identified by the State Government. pic.twitter.com/KlZeGJEq2t— Western Railway (@WesternRly) June 14, 2020
ESSENTIAL STAFF AS IDENTIFIED by the STATE GOVERNMENT who are traveling by selected suburban trains are requested to travel with VALID TICKETS to avoid inconvenience.@drmmumbaicr— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) June 15, 2020
Nearly 1.25 people engaged in essential services are likely to travel in these trains, according to railways. Those who have season passes to travel in local trains can use them even if they have expired as their validity has been extended equivalent to the number of travel days lost due to the lockdown.
Those turning up at railway stations will have to show their identity cards that can clearly prove that they come under essential services as defined by the government.
To allow social distancing, a train that can carry 1,200 passengers will take only 700. The railways has asked the state government to stagger the office timings of their employees to ensure there is no crowding at the stations.
The suburban trains are the lifeline of Mumbai. Lakhs of people travelled in these trains before the coronavirus pandemic led to shutdown of mass transport.
Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases in India. It reported a total of 1,04,568 cases till Sunday night.
Across India, over 70,000 new patients and more than 2,000 deaths have been recorded in a week as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat continue to remain the worst-affected states.