Starting Monday, booking windows at select suburban railway stations in Mumbai are set to reopen as both the Central and Western Railway will run train services for the first time since 23 March, but only for the 1.25 lakh commuters identified by the state government as essential service workers.
The train services will not be available for the general public, a joint press release from Western and Central Railways late on Sunday said.
Officials said several checks will be put in place to ensure that only private, as well as government officials involved in essential services and healthcare workers identified by the state and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), are allowed to travel.
“Western Railway have decided to resume their selected suburban services over WR w.e.f. Monday, 15 June, 2020 with defined protocol & SOP, only for movement of essential staff as identified by the State Government,” the Western Railway tweeted.
The Western Railway will run 73 pairs of suburban services including 8 pairs between Virar and Dahanu Road. The Western Railway and Central Railway have decided to run the trains from 5.30 am to 11.30 pm with interval of around 15 minutes.
The Central Railway has also resumed the EMU Services for the essential staff as identified by the state government. 200 train services will run (100 UP+ 100 DN). 130 trains (65 UP and 65 DN) will operate from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Kasara, Karjat, Kalya and Thane.
The trains will halt at select railway stations. The trains running on the Western Railway line will stop at Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, and all the stations between Dahisar and Virar.
Similarly, on the Central Railway line, the trains will stop at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Thane, Diva, Dombivali, Kalyan, Titwala, Asangaon, Kasara, Ambernath, Badlapur, Neral and Karjat railway stations.
On the Harbour railway line, the trains will pull up at Vadala, Mankhurd, Vashi, Juinagar, Nerul, Belapur, and Parel railway stations.
“It has been decided to extend the validity of the season tickets to the extent of days lost. The counters may also issue tickets and season tickets to people permitted by the Maharashtra government,” said a statement issued by Central and Western Railway.
People, who are considered to be essential service providers, will be allowed to board local trains after an inspection of their identity cards.
Later, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities will issue an electronic pass with a quick response (QR) code.
The railway stations will have a single entry and exit points to be manned by Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel.
In view of the social distancing guidelines, only 700 people will be allowed to board a train with a seating capacity to accommodate about 1,200 persons.
Travelling authority will be applicable as per normal procedure over Western Railway and Central Railway for season tickets etc and certain booking windows will be opened for the same, on which respective staff will be facilitated on showing their government ID cards.
Railways, as well as the state government, will ensure multiple rounds of checking to ensure only essential staff as identified by the state government, should board these trains. The WR and CR have ordered strict imposition of “no hawker and no parking zone” in station circulating area at 150 meters radius.
Maharashtra on Sunday recorded 3,390 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1,07,958. 3,950 people have lost theri lives due to the COVID-19 disease so far.
The BMC confirmed that 1,395 COVID-19 cases 79 deaths were reported from Mumbai on Sunday.
“The total number of cases in the city is now at 58135, including 28,959 active cases, 26,986 recovered/discharged and 2,190 deaths,” BMC said.