Mumbai's suburban train system network finally receives permission to ferry the local crowd, bringing in huge a respite from the troubles of commute in the city. On Friday, the Maharashtra Chief Minister allowed the general public to use local trains, in 3 designated slots in order to contain any unprecedented rise of COVID-19. Shut since March over the coronavirus induced lockdown, Mumbai's local crowd was deprived of this ease of mobility even when it resumed partially for essential workers.
Staggered crowds during non-peak hours, allowed in Mumbai locals!
The statement issued by the CM on Friday detailed that though the local services have resumed for all commuters, travel shall be authorised in 3 slots during the day, to prevent overcrowding at the platforms or in the rakes. Slotted during non-peak hours, the slots will set ticking from 12 PM to 4 PM, during the day, followed by travel after 9 PM until the last service at night. In the morning, the general public will be allowed to travel in the local trains before 7 AM.
These slots have been designed to keep the locals vacant for essential service providers during peak hours, from 7 AM to 12 PM and then in the evening from 4 PM to 9 PM. The state has also appealed to the offices in Mumbai to adopt staggered attendance or slots, which will facilitate easier travel. Presently, only government employees, women(during non-peak hours only) and people working for essential services are allowed to travel in local trains.
Extended working hours for shops and restaurants
Meanwhile, the state has also relaxed and extended operating hours of shops and restaurants in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, opening avenues of business stabilisation for many. As opposed to the previous 9 PM deadline, shops will be allowed to open till 11 PM while restaurants can function till 1 AM, read reports. This move has received a warm welcome from the city merchants and businessmen who suffered greatly due to time-restrictions and capacity-caps.
While shops will now be able to cater to the post 9 PM service class, who shop post officer hours, restaurants will benefit too, as they are currently working at 50% of their potential. Extended work hours will boost staggering of crowds and help these businesses regain their strength after almost a year of slow-paced income.