Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has allowed the general public to use Mumbai local trains from February 1.
However, there will be a time restriction to manage congestion. So far, it has been decided that the general public will be allowed to travel before 7 am, between 12 pm and 4 pm and then after 9 pm.
Maharashtra government on Friday extended its lockdown restrictions till 28 February
As suburban trains are the lifeline for Mumbaikars, there was increasing demand to resume services for all. The government adopted a measured way to reopen services as the state was most hurt by the COVID-19 Pandemic. In phased unlocking, the government allowed emergency staff, teaching, non-teaching staff, practising lawyers, women passengers, disabled people to travel by local trains. But so far, it was not open for all.
From 29 January, the number of trains also increased to almost pre-epidemic figures, but services were not open to all. As the schools partially opened and other establishments are also moving towards restoring their operations, the authorities were under pressure to allow students and other passengers. Although restricted time may not cater to students and other office goers, officials eventually allow all services to be taken.
Central Railway and Western Railway operate trains on suburban lines in Mumbai. Railway officials are saying that they were ready to take the services to the next level, but the government was not letting them go further.
On Friday, the announcement was made on behalf of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as he also said that the shops would be allowed to remain open till 11 pm and restaurants till 1 pm.