Advocate General of Maharashtra AA Kumbhakoni on Friday told the Bombay High Court that the state government has no objection to increase the number of local trains running daily and their frequencies.
The response came while the Bombay High Court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking directions to the State to include lawyers and their registered clerks in the list of "essential service providers" eligible for travel relaxations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"But as I travel every day, I see so many people not wearing masks. What is the problem in wearing masks I do not understand. As figures are climbing down fortunately for us, we try to open up sectors gradually. We know our capacity to treat infected patients, once we open up sectors, cases increase but it never crosses the threshold, that's why we need to open up step by step," Advocate General AA Kumbhakoni told the bench headed by CJ Dipankar Datta.
Meanwhile, CJ Dipankar Datta said the court is thinking of extending the benefit of travel in an interim order passed earlier to lawyers and clerks in Mumbai. "We are thinking of extending the benefit of travel in interim order passed earlier to lawyers and clerks in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Let's see how this experiment works," CJ Dipankar Datta said while hearing pleas seeking inclusion of lawyers in the list of essential services.
Noting that railway services need to correspond with the partial lifting of lockdown, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday had suggested an increase in the frequency of local trains being run in Mumbai to check overcrowding.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni said currently the Maharashtra government has permitted several sectors to resume and hence it is high time the frequency of trains was increased.
“We are now in partial lockdown. Malls are open, hotels are allowed to remain open, government offices are working with 100% staff and several other sectors are now working. Railway services need to correspond with this,” the court said. The court directed the State government to consider its suggestions and see if it can forward a proposal to the Railways for an increase in the frequency of trains.