Mumbai: Maharashtra government has told the Bombay High Court that it had empowered the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways to impose fine on commuters traveling without masks on Mumbai local trains.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the court that until now only Mumbai Police had the power to impose fines, but now RPF has also been empowered to make people not travel without masks.
The state government is also working on modalities to allow more passengers to use the city’s local train services, as well as trying to develop a system of “color-coded e-pass system” for it. The submission was made by Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni, according to a PTI report.
The Advocate General was responding to a previous suggestion of the High Court to extend local train services that are currently running in the financial capital and to allow people from areas other than the services required to use suburban train services. He told the bench that the state government had already given permission to women and lawyers to use local train services. In addition, Mumbai Metro employees and private security guards will also be allowed to use local trains.
When the Bombay High Court held that passengers should be encouraged to follow all novel coronavirus safety norms, the Advocate General held that all local train passengers in Mumbai would have to wear face masks.
The Bombay High Court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations that were filed by lawyers, seeking permission to use Mumbai suburban train services to commute to work. Following the previous orders from the court, all lawyers are currently allowed to use the local train services during non-peak hours.