Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the decision on resuming suburban local train services in Mumbai for all will be taken very soon.
In a meeting, Thackeray reviewed the prospects on resumption of local trains. "He discussed various options on how to resume local train services for all in such a way that would not get crowded as the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet," informed the Chief Minister's office.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister Ajoy Mehta, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Ashish Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Vikas Kharge, Secretary Abasaheb Jarad, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, Disaster Management Director Abhay Yavalkar and General Manager of Central Railway Sanjeev Mittal, General Manager of Western Railway Alok Kansal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, and senior officials of the health department.
Mumbai locals were shut down to the public ever since the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. Services were resumed on June 15, only for essential services staff, as identified by the Government of Maharashtra. Currently, differently-abled people, cancer patients, women, and lawyers are allowed to travel by train, along with essential workers.
“Currently, we are operating more than 90 per cent of local train services and do not have any problems. We are waiting for the state government directive on allowing the general public. A decision is expected soon, once the pandemic situation is reviewed,” a railway official said.
Another railway official said while there was no harm in operating local train services for all, they would have to put in place crowd management arrangements at railway stations, though the number of cases had reduced and vaccines had arrived. A final decision would be taken after considering the number of cases across Maharashtra. “There has not yet been any finalisation on resumption of train services for the public. Discussions are underway. Only after completely reviewing the situation with the state government and the observance of coronavirus protocols, will local train services be resumed,” he said.