Indian Railways' Central and Western Railway zone in a late-night statement has said that Railway Ministry has decided to start select suburban services over mainline and harbour lines of Mumbai from today.
Mumbai's suburban service, which is also the lifeline of the city, will however operate for people and employees associated with essential services.
Railways has also laid out a detailed set of guidelines that the people who will travel in the local trains of Mumbai need to follow.
Initially a total of 1.25 lakh essential staff(including 50 thousand on Western Railway) as identified by the state government are expected to travel by these trains.
The Mumbai suburban network spreads from Churchgate to Dahanu on the Western Railway route and from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Kasara and Khopoli on the Central Railway's main line.
The Central Railway also runs services from CSMT to Mahim and Panvel on the Harbour line, from Thane to Vashi and Panvel on the Trans-Harbour line and also operates the Belapur-Seawood-Kharkopar line.
Important points and guidelines:
- The local train services will not be for the general public and people who are identified as essential staff by the State Government of Maharashtra will be allowed to board thses local trains.
- Both Central and Western Railway will open certain booking windows so that people travelling in these trains are able to buy tickets.
- The essential services staff can buy the tickets only after showing their Govt ID cards.
- Railways will also deploy RPF/GRP at various stations.
- People will be allowed entry into the station only after showing their ID cards as identified by the state govt. The staff will be issued QR based E-passes which will also bear colour coding to enableswifter ticket checking.
- Railways will conduct multiple rounds of checking to make sure that only essential staff should board in these trains.
- Railways has asked the state government to ensure that all those who are allowd to travelare medically fit and do not come from the containment zone.
- To allow adequate social distancing in the coaches, only 700 people will be allowed per train instead of the regular 1,200 per train.
- Ambulances willbe kept at each station along with the medical staff to dealwith any emergency situation by respective Municipal Corporations.
Earlier Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray also requested PM Modi to start local trains in Mumbai for essential services staff working in the city.
"Local trains should be operated for those people who are allowed to go to work in the Mumbai region. They can board these trains only using their ID cards," he said.
The local trains are considered as the lifeline of Mumbai as over 8 million people travel in them everyday. The Central and the Western Railway operate over 3,000 services on suburban routes daily.