Mumbai’s local trains may resume services from September 1: Report

Mumbai: Western Railway local train seen with no sign of passengers over outbreak of novel coronavirus, in Mumbai on 19 March, 2020IANS
  • In March, for the first time in 46 years, the sprawling Indian Railway network, including Mumbai's lifeline, was completely shut down for over two months.
  • As of now, a limited number of suburban trains are running in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from June 14.
  • However, only passengers who are engaged in essential services can use the service.
Mumbai may finally get its lifeline back — the local trains.

According to a media report, local trains in Mumbai may start from September 1. In March, for the first time in 46 years, the sprawling Indian Railway network, including Mumbai's lifeline, was completely shut down for over two months for all passengers to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

As of now, a limited number of suburban trains are operating in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from June 14. However, only passengers who are engaged in an essential service can use the services. The list of essential services did not include bank employees or media persons.

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Local Train passengers following physical distancing at CSMT. BMC do the thermal checking of all passengers before boarding on June 19,2020BCCL

The government identified over 125,000 employees who are part of the essential services of the state government. Before this lockdown, on an average, over 8.5 million passengers commuted daily on the suburban networks spanning Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad. Moreover, no food and other stalls were allowed to open at the railway station, and Railways Protection Force was deployed to impose strict social distancing norms.

People waiting at CST junction for the local train to arrive, all essential modes of transport came to standstill as heavy downpour in the city on July 26,2005BCCL

Recently, the Uddhav Thackeray government allowed accredited journalists to travel by suburban trains using a QR code.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs is likely to release new guidelines on August 31. These guidelines may have provision to open Delhi’s metro network — which connects it to Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad — too. Schools, colleges, universities, and cinema halls may not be allowed to open even after August 31.

This comes as India records more than 32 lakh coronavirus cases in the country and has a recovery rate of 75.97%.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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