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Updated on: Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 02:02 PM IST

COVID-19: Full vaccination mandatory for travel in Mumbai local trains for essential workers and govt employees

Suburban locals are considered the lifeline of Mumbai. Nearly 80 lakh passengers used to travel on the suburban locals before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representational image/Mumbai local | Photo by Darshak Pandya from Pexels

Representational image/Mumbai local | Photo by Darshak Pandya from Pexels

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Days after health minister Rajesh Tope said that persons with one vaccine shot to be allowed to travel in local trains after Diwali, the Maharashtra government has said that full vaccination is mandatory for travel in Mumbai local trains for essential workers and government employees.

‘’If the COVID 19 positive cases are under control then the government will relax curbs on the movement of people in local trains, malls and other public places. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after discussion with the Public Health Department and the Task Force of COVID 19 will take a final decision in this regard. The condition of a time gap of 84 days between two doses for taking the Covishield vaccine is causing a lot of inconvenience to the people,’’ Tope was quoted as saying on October 18.


Railways to operate Mumbai local train services at pre-pandemic level from Oct 28; travel restrictions unchanged

Meanwhile, Central Railway and Western Railway will run suburban services in Mumbai at the 100 per cent capacity of the pre-pandemic level from October 28, but the existing travel restrictions for the general public will remain unchanged, as per an official release.

This decision was taken considering the increased flow of commuters, an official said on Monday.

A joint statement issued by the CR and WR clarified that only categories identified by the government as on date are permitted to travel as per the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Central Railway and Western Railway will run 1,774 and 1,367 services, respectively, on their suburban network from October 28. The zonal railways used to operate these many services before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

Currently, Central Railway and Western Railway are operating 1,702 and 1,304 suburban services, respectively, which is 95.70 per cent of the total suburban services in the normal period.

"The decision has been taken considering the increased flow of commuters in local trains," said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway, adding that though the number of suburban services will increase from Thursday, the existing travel restrictions on suburban locals will remain unchanged.

At present, only the government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel on the suburban locals, apart from the fully-vaccinated citizens, who have completed the 14-day period after the second dose and those who are below 18 years.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the suburban services were completely stopped from March 22, 2020. Later railways began suburban services for essential service categories as identified by the Maharashtra government and approved by the Ministry of Railways from June 15, 2020.

"The categories of commuters who were allowed by the state government and approved by the Ministry of Railways were subsequently enlarged in August 2021 and in recent weeks, to travel in suburban trains," the statement reads.

Suburban locals are considered the lifeline of Mumbai. Nearly 80 lakh passengers used to travel on the suburban locals before the COVID-19 pandemic.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 02:02 PM IST
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