In a major step, the Western Railway and Central Railway have started Mumbai local trains for essential services. Mumbai’s lifeline, the local trains, will be seen running on the tracks once again after a huge gap of about 2.5 months. The general public won’t be allowed to travel in the locals as of now, and only a limited number of suburban trains will be seen.
According to the official statement, there will be 73 pairs of local trains operating in the city, which includes 8 pairs between Virar and Dahanu Road. These trains will operate between 5:30 AM and 11:30 PM only with intervals of around 15 minutes.
Not only this, the EMU services only for the recognised essential service providers has also started. There will be 200 train services running on its main line from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane, Kalyan, Karjat and Kasara and the Harbour line — Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Panvel.
Scaling up services to combat COVID-19, Railways resumes selected local trains in Mumbai from today.
Catering to essential staff as identified by State Govt, trains have eased the lives of people, providing safe & comfortable travel 🚞 pic.twitter.com/ifpt4CXBzf— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 15, 2020
As per government, the trains will be running only for essential service providers, which are officially identified by the state and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Till now, the identified number of essential staff is around 1.25 lakh.
A tweet shared by the Western Railway mentioned, “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”.
People need to carry their valid identification cards in order to enter the station premises. After that, a QR based e-pass will be provided to them so that they can travel hassle free. Also, at every railway station, people from Railway Protection Force (RPF) and state police will be deployed to keep a check. Not only this, multiple rounds of checking will be done to make sure that only essential service providers are using the trains.
The capacity of the trains have also been reduced to maintain social distancing. So now, only 700 passengers per local train will be allowed. The number was 1200 passengers per train before COVID era. Also, only those people would be allowed to travel who are medically fit and do not come from containment regions. In case of any emergency, ambulances equipped with medical workers will be placed at every railway station.
Given the current situation, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state and has recorded 105K Coronavirus positive cases and 3830 deaths alone in the country.