Teachers, as well as non-teaching school staff, have been allowed to travel by suburban trains being run in Mumbai and its metropolitan region, Railway officials said on Friday.
In a joint release, Western and Central Railways, which operate the suburban system in MMR, said permission has been granted with immediate effect.
Valid identity cards will be required for entry at the stations, the release said, adding that adherence to social distancing and other norms in place for the COVID-19 outbreak must be followed.
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal took to Twitter and made the announcement. He said the decision was taken in order to "enhance convenience for those on a mission to impart knowledge".
"Enhancing convenience for those on a mission to impart knowledge, Railways permits teachers & non-teaching staff of schools to travel by special suburban services in Mumbai," he tweeted.
"Passengers, who are not allowed as yet, are requested to refrain from rushing to stations," Goyal added.
The permission from the Railways comes after the state government resolution (GR) dated October 29, had ordered 50 per cent attendance for teaching and non-teaching staff in all schools of Maharashtra.
After the order, the state disaster management, relief and rehabilitation department had on November 6 written a letter to the CR and WR authorities. "You are hereby requested to direct the concerned to allow teachers and non-teaching staff of schools to use local train services in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) with immediate effect," the letter read.