In an attempt to stagger crowds in Mumbai local trains, the Maharashtra Disaster Management Team has decided to reintroduce the QR code-based railway pass. This will simultaneously dissuade illicit travellers (those without local train travel permission) or those with face identity cards to board the trains. The Railways have stated that they have been working in association with the state government to facilitate the pass-service, with full support.
Level-based travel pass in Mumbai
Travel in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region will now be regulated by the BMC's level-based curbs here. A railway pass will soon permit passengers' access to local trains, monorail and metros here. However, government employees (local, central or state level officials) have been granted permission to travel in local trains at all levels of restrictions.
For this, the officials will have to procure a 'Univeral Pass Travel'. All passes under the umbrella of this system will specifically mention the level up to which people can travel. Additionally, travel in all levels below this mentioned category will also be permitted. For instance, if a pass mentions level 3, the pass-holder will be allowed to travel if the level of restrictions under force is 1, 2 or 3. Similarly, if the pass mentions level 2, then the passengers can travel only if the level of restrictions is 1 or 2.
Drive against fake identity holders
The QR-code pass can be scanned through any smartphone with the use of a relevant code reader - verifying the authenticity of the pass. As such, travellers with an inauthentic pass or without one will not be able to board the local trains, a letter by the State Disaster Management Authority highlights. All public transport officials have been authorised to charge fines in case of breach of the system.
The state and railways have joined forces to launch a strict drive against fake ID holders, irregular travellers to facilitate permission to only those categories approved by the state. Given the large number of passes that need to be prepared, the system will come in force from a particular date, which will be duly announced.
Railways to initiate 15-car services on slow lines between Andheri & Virar
In another attempt to ensure convenient and crowd-less train travel in Mumbai, the Western Railways has introduced 15-car services on slow lines between Andheri & Virar from today. As per reports, around 25 services, with 13 Virar bound and 12 Andheri bound services will ease the traffic woes in this section. Of these, 18 services are slow line services, while 7 are on fast lines.
This step will boost the locals' carrying capacity by 25% along the suburban stretch, the PRO of the Western Railways mentioned. He added that the increased commuter accommodation will offer great comfort to all travellers, once local trains full open again for public used.
Reportedly, the Railways has undertaken the task of upgrading 27 platforms at 14 stations, on the slow corridor between Andheri and Virar to run the services. Additional development and remodelling of major yards at Andheri, Bhayander, Vasai Road and Virar, construction and extension of five-foot overbridges and provision of double discharge at Jogeshwari will also be looked into to ensure smooth dispersal of the commuter.
The 15-car local train project has been carried out along the 40 km stretch at an approximate cost of ₹60 crores. Until now, only 12-car slow trains operate here. All 15-car local trains run as fast-train services.