Mumbai: As coronavirus or COVID-19 graph continued its downward trend in Maharashtra, the chorus for resumption of local train services for general public is growing louder with political leaders and passenger association appealing the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government to allow the commoners to travel on Mumbai’s suburban locals. For the unversed, commuting long distances in the financial capital is both expensive and time-consuming these days as local train services, which are considered as the lifeline of the city are restricted for medical and essential services in the wake of COVID-19.Also Read - Mumbai Mega Block Update: Main And Harbour Lines To Be Affected On August 21. Check Timings, Routes, More

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  • If the latest reports are to be believed, the Thackeray government is mulling to restart local train services for people of few more categories in upcoming days. Speaking to leading daily Hindustan Times, an official said that media personnel and teachers are expected to be added in the list of people allowed to commute from  the suburban services soon.
  • Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray recently wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to resume the local train services for general public, particularly for those who have have completed their vaccination (taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccine). He also asked the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra to provide relaxations in coronavirus-induced restrictions in a bid to provide relief to the general public.
  • “As in the rest of our country, the last 15 months, Maharashtra state government has imposed many curbs and restrictions. The restrictions imposed are being followed by the people of Maharashtra. However, lately there seems to be a lack of clarity leading to questions as to who these restrictions are meant for? In the case of Mumbai, this lack of clarity is perplexing,” Raj Thackeray’s letter to CM read.
  • Maharashtra unit of Bharartiya Janata Party has urged the state government to allow people to travel in local trains and provide travel allowance every month to Mumbaikars. “Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray should allow people of all categories to travel in local trains or provide Rs 5,000 allowance every month to each individual”, a news agency quoted state BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye as saying.
  • Earlier this month, Mumbai Rail Passengers Association (MRA) had protested at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Mantralaya (secretariat) asking why local train services are banned for vaccinated passengers.  While agitating against the government the association the QR code system should be operational at all railway stations and vaccinated Mumbaikars should be allowed to use local trains.

The local train services in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) had returned to full services for the general public from Feb 2 after a gap of 10 months. However, as the city saw an unprecedented surge of cases and deaths during the second wave of coronavirus, travel by local trains, a lifeline for millions of people living in Mumbai and surrounding satellite towns, was severely restricted for commoners, barring those involved in essential services. Also Read - BMC Increases Testing In Housing Societies Amid Possibility of COVID Fourth Wave in Mumbai