Updated: August 10, 2021 10:34:15 am
A day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced people who have taken both the doses of Covid-19 vaccine can use Mumbai local train services from August 15, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Railways Raosaheb Danve sparked a row by stating that the Maharashtra government should have conferred with the Railways before making the announcement.
Danve said the responsibility of checking the authenticity of the QR code passes of eligible passengers at the entry point of each station should be done by the state government and the railways won’t be able to do it.
“The decision of opening up local trains is welcomed and locals will be started as per the demand. However, it would have been better if the state government had discussed with the Railways before taking the decision. The railway will still respond positively to (the Maharashtra) government’s decision and willrun the trains,” Danve told media persons Monday. Danve also said the Maharashtra government should create a system to check the QR code passes at the entry-level of each station and take up the responsibility for it.
Responding to the Danve, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the state government followed the protocols and it must have followed the necessary procedure. “The CM has announced a date of August 15 for starting the service. There is still time for August 15 and both the state and Centre’s agencies may have initiated discussions on the issue already,” Raut told The Indian Express.
Railway officials, meanwhile, said they were still awaiting formal written directives from the state government over the resumption of local train services. According to the Railways, officials are in talks with the state government agency to ascertain how to go ahead about resuming local train services for eligible citizens and a decision on the same was likely to emerge in a day or two.
“Though there has been no official communication, we have started our routine preparation and are offering all the help required to roll out the services. We have also communicated same to the state agencies,” said a senior railway official.
Officials, however, have also expressed concern about checking the authenticity of passes issued by the state government at entry points of each station and claimed it would not be possible for the person issuing passes or tickets at the counter to check the veracity of the QR code passes.
“It will be very early to say how the system will be implemented as it is still in a primary state. The state government and BMC is creating the system and mobile application, which is expected to be ready in two days,” an official said.
The BMC is likely to facilitate the system of issuing QR code passes. Thackeray on Sunday had announced that people who have been fully vaccinated and completed 14 days after receiving the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to travel in Mumbai suburban local trains from August 15. The CM said a mobile application is being prepared on which eligible people can register to get railway passes.
Citizens will be required to provide certificates of the two doses of vaccines and completion of 14 days after the second dose, following which they will be issued a QR code pass that will help the railway authorities to verify their eligibility to travel on local trains.
People who have smartphones can download such passes from the specially created app. Those who don’t have smartphones, the CM said, could get the same through the BMC and Mumbai suburban railways offices.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.