The Western Railway (WR) on Tuesday decided to resume its full services from Friday (January 29). However, only the passengers permitted by the government will be allowed to travel.
WR's Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Sumit Thakur informed that it has been decided to start all its suburban services by increasing existing 1,201 special services to 1,367 (an addition of 166 services) from Friday, January 29.
"Passengers as permitted by Ministry of Railways and Government of Maharashtra are only allowed to travel by suburban trains," he said.
"Passengers are advised to adhere all norms , SOPs related to COVID-19 during the boarding, travel and at destination," he added.
This comes after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said a decision on the resumption of suburban local train services for all in Mumbai would be taken very soon.
In a meeting chaired by the CM, a number of options were discussed, including allowing only essential service providers to travel during peak hours from 7 am to 9.30 am and 4.30 pm to 7 pm, while allowing the public to commute strictly during non-rush hours. Tweaking the timings of private offices or curtail working hours to avoid crowding in trains was one of the suggestion during the meet.
Mumbai locals were shut down to the public ever since the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. Services were resumed on June 15, only for essential services staff, as identified by the Government of Maharashtra. Currently, differently-abled people, cancer patients, women, and lawyers are allowed to travel by train, along with essential workers. Railway officials informed that about 12 lakh commuters are travelling daily.