Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the state government is in talks with the Centre about re-starting the local train services for the general public, and a decision will be taken soon on the matter.
“We have opened almost everything and the economic activity is picking up pace. We are currently in talks with the Centre. Piyush Goyal ji has been very cooperative. As we get clearances from the Centre, we will proceed towards starting local trains also,” Uddhav Thackeray said in an address to the state. But, CM Thackeray did not mention any specific date from when local trains will start for all commuters.
Currently, only those engaged in frontline duties and essential staff as categorised by the Maharashtra government are allowed to travel in the local trains run by the Central Railway and the Western Railway, through a QR code mechanism. From October 23, women passengers were also allowed to use the services.
Till October 20, only those engaged in essential services as categorised by the Maharashtra government were allowed to travel in the local trains run by the Central Railway and the Western Railway, through a QR code mechanism. From October 23, women passengers have also been allowed to use the services.
Uddhav Thackeray also hinted at reopening places of religious worship, saying a standard operating procedure for avoiding crowds and ensuring physical distancing there will be drafted after Diwali.
In a webcast, Thackeray said he is getting flak for going slow on reopening of places of religious worship. "I am ready for brickbats if it ensures good health and safety of citizens. How to avoid crowds and ensure physical distancing in places of worship will be worked out and a standard operating procedure will be drafted after Diwali.
"We are so involved in offering prayers and may neglect COVID-19 safety protocols. What if a coronavirus positive person infects senior citizens from our families who visit the places of worship he said. Thackeray said wearing of masks will be mandatory in places of worship. He also appealed people to avoid bursting firecrackers in public places.