Mumbai: Central Railway and Western Railway will run suburban services in Mumbai at the 100% capacity of the pre-pandemic level from October 28, but the existing travel restrictions for the general public will remain unchanged, as per an official release.
This decision was taken considering the increased flow of commuters, an official said on Monday. A joint statement issued by the CR and WR clarified that only categories identified by the government as on date are permitted to travel as per the standard operating procedures (SOP).
Central Railway and Western Railway will run 1,774 and 1,367 services, respectively, on their suburban network from October 28. The zonal railways used to operate these many services before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
Currently, Central Railway and Western Railway are operating 1,702 and 1,304 suburban services, respectively, which is 95.70 per cent of the total suburban services in the normal period. "The decision has been taken considering the increased flow of commuters in local trains," said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway, adding that though the number of suburban services will increase from Thursday, the existing travel restrictions on suburban locals will remain unchanged.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the suburban services were completely stopped from March 22, 2020. Later railways began suburban services for essential service categories as identified by the Maharashtra government and approved by the Ministry of Railways from June 15, 2020.
Suburban locals are considered the lifeline of Mumbai. Nearly 80 lakh passengers used to travel on the suburban locals before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rules for travelling on trains
At present, only the government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel on the suburban locals.
All people who are fully vaccinated can board the local trains starting from at least 14 days after receiving the second dose.
The authorities will, however, verify an individual’s vaccination status before giving the necessary clearance to buy a monthly pass.
People less than 18 years as of age can travel by local trains. They will be issued monthly season tickets at railway counters.
Those with a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated need to carry a doctor’s certificate to be allowed on local trains.
"The categories of commuters who were allowed by the state government and approved by the Ministry of Railways were subsequently enlarged in August 2021 and in recent weeks, to travel in suburban trains," the statement reads.
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