Mumbai locals might resume services for general passengers from December 15.
In a joint press-conference on Thursday, the Central and Western Railways have extended travel permissions granted to lawyers practicing in courts and registered clerks of advocated to travel in the local trains in Mumbai. These officials are now allowed to use the suburban transport system following the state established travel protocols, 'till further advice'. Earlier, on October 26, the Railways had permitted the lawyers to use the Mumbai locals on days of hearings, until November 23.
What's the update?
Acceding to the state's request filed on December 2 to make the locals available for lawyers, the Central and Western Railways of Mumbai have granted an extended permission to judicial officials to travel by means of the local trains, without an expiration date, for now. All travellers, who have received this permission, by order, are requested to strictly adhere to all norm and practices of safe travel and hygiene, at the station and during the journey. All other citizens were appealed to comply to the protocols of social distancing and not rush to the station until an order, permitting so is issued.
With the imposition of the nationwide lockdown, the commute chain in Mumbai witnessed the dreadful hurdle of local shutdown. Though, these services resumed partially by mid June for essential and government employees, the general public in Mumbai have been kept away from the locals, but no for long. According to the BMC Commissioner, the suburban network may open for Mumbai's general public by December 15.
The civic commissioner has pointed out that the municipal body is reviewing its decision to re-open the locals for all, with guidelines and SOPs in place, amid the anticipatory rise of coronavirus spread. Earlier, BMC had delayed their decision of opening locals trains for locals fearing the swell of a 'second wave' of coronavirus infection.
Popularly known as the lifeline of Mumbai, the local train system at present is working selectively to honour the norms and guidelines of social distancing. Despite this, the services were boosted in order to shoulder specific demands during exams and competitive entrance tests in the city. Post Diwali, the teaching and non-teaching staff, were also permitted to use the locals, authorised by authentic identity cards; students appearing for state exams have also received similar permissions, till December 10.