The Maharashtra Government on Thursday set up an online portal through which passengers can get their vaccination certificates verified and generate a QR code, which will make them eligible to board Mumbai’s suburban trains.
Citizens can avail the services through the weblink — https://epassmsdma.mahait.org — to obtain an E-pass.
On August 8, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced that people who have been fully vaccinated and completed 14 days after receiving the second dose of an anti-Covid vaccine will be allowed to travel in Mumbai suburban local trains from August 15. The State government, however, had said that only those individuals whose vaccination certificates were verified would be eligible to receive travel passes.
An offline facility for verification of these certificates had been functional since Wednesday as part of which 358 help desks have been set up at 53 railway stations in areas coming under the jurisdiction of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
According to guidelines, the e-pass should be saved on mobile phones and citizens can get the monthly pass for travel by local train after showing the e-pass at the ticket window.
As part of the offline system, universal passes were made available at special help desks set up at railway stations by the local civic bodies. Citizens can approach the nearest railway stations and get the universal passes after verification of their vaccination certificates after which they can procure monthly railway pass at the ticket window.
The Mumbai civic body has appealed to all citizens not to crowd at railway stations and complete the verification process by either approaching railway stations in a phased manner or using the online process.
How to obtain vaccine certificate
Eligible citizens must first open the link- https://epassmsdma.mahait.org and then click on Travel Pass for Vaccinated Citizens. Then mention their mobile number registered for Covid Vaccination. Immediately after that, an OTP (One Time Password) will be received via SMS. After entering this OTP, details like Beneficiary Name, Mobile Number, Beneficiary Reference Number etc. will automatically appear. After this, click on the ‘Generate Pass’ option. On clicking, the system will automatically show the details of the applicant, including the date of the first and second dose of Covid-19 Vaccine and other relevant information. The applicant must upload their own photograph in the ‘Self Image’ option. Photographs can also be uploaded from the mobile phone’s gallery or a picture can be clicked on the spot using the mobile camera. After completion of this process, a message will appear stating that the applicant will receive a link in 48 hours via SMS. Once the link is received, the e-pass should be saved in the mobile gallery.
Over 58,000 citizens allotted passes for train travel
A total of 58,047 citizens were allotted railways passes for train travel after the verification of their vaccination certificates over the last two days.
On Thursday, a total of 23,724 monthly local train passes were issued by Western and Central Railways on the second day of the offline screening drive that had been initiated by the authorities. Between 7am and 6pm on Thursday, the Central Railways issued 17,775 monthly seasonal tickets while Western Railway sold 5,949 passes. On Wednesday, the first day of the drive, both Western and Central Railways had sold a total of 34,323 passes.
Railway officials said that they are hoping that the number of citizens who apply for passes will increase after the state government decided to start the online verification system from Thursday.
The Railway Authorities are now assessing how many additional services they need to deploy to cater to the passengers starting August 15.
The Central Railway and Western Railway used to operate 1,774 and 1,367 services each day (3,141 in total), respectively, before the pandemic. The number of services that are presently being provided is 2,813 with 1,612 on Central Line and 1,201 on Western Line.
“Before the second lockdown was imposed, there were around 36-38 lakh commuters were travelling daily on the line. Now with restrictions, 26 lakh people are travelling on both the lines. As per our primary assessment, the number of eligible people who have got both the doses of vaccine and are allowed to travel in the trains is very less and most of them are already travelling as essential service workers and health workers,” said a railway official, adding that the number of new travellers would not exceed more than five to seven lakhs. He said once the services begin, the Railways would assess the total number of passengers and then decide on increasing services.