After a gap of about 320 days, the Railways permitted all members of the general public to travel in local trains in Mumbai from February 1, though for limited hours.
At present, the general public is allowed to travel in the suburban trains from the time of the start of services for the day till 7 am, from 12 noon to 4 pm, and from 9 pm till the closure of services for the day.
From 7 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 9 pm, only employees of the essential services and categories of commuters specified by the Maharashtra government and the Ministry of Railways are permitted to travel in local trains.
Mumbaikars have been demanding the lifting of the time restriction.
Speaking about the issue, Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said they will be reviewing the current situation again after a week following which further decisions on restrictions will be taken.
“Currently we cannot say that cases have increased due to the resumption of local trains. But we have decided to review it again after February 20 and the final decision will be taken at that time,” he said.
Meanwhile, railway officials said they will be following the same pattern and there will be no changes. In fact, they will be taking stringent action against the defaulters who are not following the COVID-19 norms in station premises or in local train coaches.
“We will be waiting for the final decision from the BMC and state government. In the meantime we have directed all the railway staffs, GRP and RPF to closely monitor passengers at all the railway stations whether they are wearing a mask or not. If not then strict action should be taken against them,” said a railway officer.
(With inputs from FPJ's Swapnil Mishra)