After days of bickering with the state government over running special trains between Mumbai and Konkan for Ganesh Chaturthi, the Railways on Friday decided to operate 182 services beginning Saturday.
While the Central Railway (CR) said in a release that it will run 162 special trips between August 15 and September 5, the Western Railway (WR) is set to run 20 services between August 17 and 27.
The initial plan of running 194 trains between August 11 and September 5 to the various districts of Konkan had been kept in abeyance due to a tussle between the Railways and the state government.
“Central Railway wishes to inform the passengers that it is ready to run the specials, however, the final go ahead is yet to be confirmed by the state government of Maharashtra,” it had said on Thursday.
“Senior officials of State Government of Maharashtra informed on telephone on Saturday 8th August at night to keep on hold the schedule of running of special trains as the matter is under re consideration of Maharashtra Government and said that they would advise the outcome. Since then Railway administration both at Board level and zonal level are in continuous touch with Maharashtra Government officials and have been awaiting to go ahead,” it had added.
The government, however, had claimed that no such instruction was given and it was up to the Railways to start the services, as it had already received a written go ahead from the state.
Subsequently, the Railways on Friday said that it would start the services. Passengers will have to adhere to all norms and standard operating procedures related to Covid-19, it added.
The CR will ply eight special trains on four routes – CSMT to Sawantwadi, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) to Kudal, LTT to Ratnagiri and LTT to Sawantwadi – from August 15 to September 5.
The WR announced that it will run 20 special services from August 17 to August 27. “Western Railway will run 20 trips of five special trains – two from Mumbai Central to Sawantwadi Road, two from Bandra Terminus to Sawantwadi Road and one from Bandra Terminus to Kudal on special fare,” it said in a release.
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