General public won't be allowed to commute in Mumbai local trains due to possibility of third wave of COVID-19: Uddhav Thackeray

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, August 02, 2021, 04:00 PM IST
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Photo by Bhushan Koyande

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said that general public won't be allowed to commute in Mumbai local trains due to possibility of third wave of COVID-19. The chief minister said this during a press conference at Sangli where he has been to take stock of the situation, and review steps taken by the administration towards flood management in the affected district.

While addressing the media, he also urged offices to alter or change the timings accordingly for their employees.

While people are urging the state government to avail the local train service for all thos who are completely vaccinated, the Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government to frame a comprehensive plan to permit vaccinated people to travel by Mumbai local trains and questioned as to why all vaccinated could not be allowed to travel by train when everyone is allowed to travel by buses.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni, while hearing public interest litigation (PIL) Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMA), said: “There is an improvement since last time as people are vaccinated. Let them travel by train. What is the purpose of taking the vaccine and staying at home? Not just lawyers, but people from all walks of life (have to step out to work).”

The HC is hearing a bunch of PILs by BCMA, lawyers and private persons seeking that lawyers be permitted to travel by local trains and Metro rail to commute to courts and their offices.

Notably, local train services, which are also called the lifeline of Mumbai, are currently operational for just essential service employees due to the corona outbreak. Recently, the demand for resumption of suburban train services for the general public has been gaining steam.

Meanwhile, nine of the 36 districts in Maharashtra continue to report a high weekly growth rate against the state average of 0.11%. And, 10 districts have a high weekly positivity rate against the state average of 3.8%.

The state Public Health Department, in its presentation to the state cabinet, on Wednesday, said Sangli tops the list with a high weekly growth rate of 0.44% followed by Kolhapur (0.43%), Satara (0.38%), Sindhudurg (0.33%), Ratnagiri (0.30%), Ahmednagar (0.25%), Solapur (0.24%), Beed (0.20%) and Raigad (0.19%).

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