The Maharashtra government and Railway administration are yet again pitted against each other on the issue of allowing teachers and non-teaching staff of the schools in the city to travel by the Mumbai suburban trains as schools have been permitted to reopen classes from 9 to 12 from November 23.
State government had submitted a letter urging the Railway administration to allow teachers and non-teaching staff to commute in the local trains keeping in view the hardships they are suffering but the latter has said it has received a letter late and due to this, it cannot give permission immediately.
State Minister for School Education Varsha Gaikwad said the state government has given nod allowing teachers and non-teaching staff to travel by local trains. The government has sent letters to the Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR).
"You are requested to direct the school teachers and non-teaching staff concerned to use services of local trains in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) with the immediate effect," stated the letter dated November 6.
However, an officer at the Department of School Education told Free Press Journal, “There has been no response so far from the CR and WR as they are citing that they will need time to take a decision.’’
A senior officer from the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation said after the government’s approval the Railways are allowing the staff from the essential services, women and others to commute in different slots.
“CR and WR are running the trains. In case of teachers and non-teaching staff they will have to check their identity cards and allow them to travel. The government has not called for deployment of additional trains. The matter will be pursued with the Railways after Diwali,’’ he added.
The government’s request to railways comes days after it has issued standard operating procedures for the teachers ahead of reopening of schools for the students in classes from 9 to 12.