Updated: January 29, 2021 4:17:14 am
Mumbai’s suburban train services may finally resume in February. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is evaluating a proposal to resume normal local train services for the general public by February 15, said senior government sources.
Last week, the CMO and senior state government officials held detailed deliberations with railway officials in this regard. In the build-up to the resumption plan, the railways, earlier this week, began running 204 additional special train services among the Mumbai suburban rail route, taking the total number of running train services to 2,985, which is 95 per cent of its total capacity.
On Thursday, Mumbai’s guardian minister Aslam Shaikh also confirmed the plan to resume local services for the general public in February.
While the state government earlier considered resuming the services from January, the fear of the UK variant of the novel coronavirus forced it to defer this plan.
“The fear has now elapsed and the vaccination drive has also begun,” said a senior minister.
With economic activity almost back to normal and the plan to reopen secondary school classrooms in the city under active consideration, the state government is under pressure to resume local train services.
Sources said “preparations for crowd control and management are being put in place”. They added that commuters would not be allowed without masks. The government also has plans to use police and other staff to prevent crowding.
On June 15, suburban train services first resumed for essential service providers, with the government issuing identity cards for them. By the end of October, it also permitted working women to commute for certain hours of the day.
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