- Maharashtra Government seeks lifting of non-peak hours restrictions on local trains
- Indian Railways, currently, runs 1,410 special services on Mumbai suburban network which includes 10 ladies special trains
- Indian Railways received a letter dated 28th October from the Maharashtra Government
The biggest national carrier, Indian Railways, has said that it had received a letter – No. DMU 2020 /CR 92 /DM 1 – dated 28th October 2020 from the state government of Maharashtra seeking resumption of the local train services for the general public while ensuring adherence to all COVID-19 protocols laid down by the authorities.
To make sure this is followed several time slots have been proposed by the state government and also request were made to increase the frequency of the local trains as the current train frequency will fail to keep up with the demand of proposed customers.
The Maharashtra government has also requested the Indian Railways to provide inputs on the proposed schedule for the local train services.
As of now, the Indian Railways is running a total of 1,410 special suburban services in Mumbai which are being operated by the Western Railway zone as well as the Central Railway zone.
Embodying the unanimously decided Statement Of Purpose (SOP), a maximum of 700 passengers can be seated in a 12 car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rake following the laid down social distancing norms as opposed to 1200 passengers who can be ideally seated in the 12 car EMU rake.
Therefore, a total of 1,410 services are being operated in the Mumbai Suburban section, which has a total carrying capacity of almost 9,80,000.
The Indian Railways has also clarified that it has always been ready to augment/ enhance the suburban services following the social distancing norms. Railways is working closely with the Maharashtra Government to provide these additional services after consultation with them about the necessary modalities.
In the letter to the Indian Railways, the Maharashtra Government suggested that any person holding a valid ticket shall be allowed to board the local trains till 7:30 in the morning, between 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM and also between 8:00 PM till the end of the day.
The Maharashtra government said that the time between 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM should be reserved only for the essential services staff which possess a valid QR coded identity card, in addition to this, there should be ladies special trains every hour.
The Maharashtra Government’s proposal to the Indian Railways will be forwarded to the Indian Railway Board for consideration, said an official.