In a big relief to government employees in Mumbai, the Railways said it will run 298 more trains on the city's extensive suburban rail network from July 1 for those employed in essential services, as identified by the state administration, and government staff of other categories as specified by the Centre.
This, after the Maharashtra government, on Tuesday, requested the Railways to allow employees of various central government offices/establishments, high courts and public sector banks to travel by local trains.
As identified by the State government, essential staff including employees of Centre, Income Tax, GST and Customs, Postal service, Nationalised Banks, Mumbai Port Trust, Judiciary, Defence and Raj Bhavan will now be allowed to ride the local train. However, services will remain suspended for general passengers.
Railways to expand to 350 local trains in Mumbai from tomorrow.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 30, 2020
As identified by State govt., essential staff incl. employees of Centre, IT, GST, Customs, Postal, Nationalised Banks, MBPT, Judiciary, Defence & Raj Bhavan allowed. No services yet for general passengers. pic.twitter.com/QtegX16bLE
The Central Railway (CR) will add 150 more services to the existing ones, making the total to 350 trains per day. Presently, 200 services (100 DOWN and 100 UP) are being run, out of which 130 trains run between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kasara/Karjat/Kalyan/Dombivili/Thane on main line and 70 services run between CSMT and Panvel on harbour line.
In a statement, the CR said the number of services may be modified as per the requirement to ensure social distancing norms. These trains will halt at major stations only as that of fast locals.
On the other hand, the Western Railway (WR) said it will run 148 more local trains from Wednesday, taking the total number of services to 350. The division had already added 40 additional services to the existing 162 on Monday.
Just like CR, WR said the number of services may be modified as per the requirement to ensure social distancing norms and the trains will halt at major stations only.
The entry to passengers will be given at stations strictly through ID cards of essential staff and later, they will be issued QR-based E-passes which will also bear colour coding to enable swifter ticket checking. The job of issuing these passes will rest on the state government. Suburban rail services resumed in Mumbai on June 15 but were restricted for travel by essential service workers only.