Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday gave go-ahead to Maharashtra government's proposal of resuming Mumbai local trains for the general public from February 1 with fixed time slots.
However, he has urged everyone to follow all necessary rules and guidelines related to COVID-19. "Any kind of negligence can become a problem for us and others. If you will be safe yourself, then everyone traveling with you will be safe," he added.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had written to the Indian Railways seeking that Mumbai local trains resume for the general public from February 1 with fixed time slots, keeping in mind the need for social distancing at all times.
Accordingly, the local trains will now begin from February 1 for the general public. However, the passengers will have to follow the given timings.
Local trains will be allowed for all from the start of services for the day to 7 am and then again from 12 pm to 4 pm, and from 9 pm to the closure of services.
The local train services will be restricted to the essential services staff only from 7 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Meanwhile, the state government authorities have requested establishments to stagger their work schedule in a manner wherein their staff will be able to avail the services of the local trains in the timings mentioned above.
Currently, the railway authorities are operating 2,985 services, about 95 per cent of the total 3141 services, on Mumbai's suburban network.