Maharashtra Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar who chaired a meeting on Wednesday comprising individuals from the Police, Central and Western Railways, said the government and the Railways will take a decision on allowing commuters in addition to essential services staff to commute in local trains in the next 2-3 days.
As broken by The Free Press Journal, the time slots will be decided and based on that the frequency of trains will be increased. Some more options other than QR code were discussed at the meeting. Further, different colour tickets to be issued for different time and also issuance of online tickets were also discussed.
On Tuesday, a senior official who was present at the meeting had told The Free Press Journal, “The government is keen to relax curbs on travelling, in phases. The railways starts services at 3.58 am so the proposal is, till 8 am, commuters from non-essential services, traders and others can travel. From 8 am to 10 am, only essential services staff and already identified commuters will travel and during that time, no other passengers will be permitted. Women commuters will travel between 11 am and 3 pm and again after 7 pm till the end of the day's services.’’ The officer informed that the slot between 4 pm and 7 pm will be exclusively for essential services staff and others already cleared by the state government.
Moreover, the officer said, the government may consider a slot between 10 am and 11 am for lawyers, court staff and people from non-government establishments. Similarly, the slot between 3 pm and 4 pm will be fixed for those who have to return home. “These slots will be finalised in dialogue with the CR and WR, in a bid to avoid crowding,’’ he noted.
Besides, women have been allowed to commute by local trains during the non-peak hours - from 11 am to 3 pm, and from 7 pm till the end of the day's services. This was after the Union Railway Minister gave permission on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Western Railway on Wednesday added four 'ladies special' trains on its suburban network.
Taking to Twitter, Western Railway wrote: "Railways has permitted women to travel in Mumbai suburban trains from 21st Oct, 2020 between 11.00 am to 3.00 pm & after 7.00 pm. WR will run 4 more Ladies Specials to ensure social distancing, #COVID19 health protocol & avoid overcrowding, taking the number of Ladies Spls to Six."