New Delhi: “What was even the purpose of taking both doses of the vaccine if citizens were expected to stay inside their homes even after taking the anti-Covid-19 jabs”,  the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government, while hearing a bunch of PILs seeking that lawyers be permitted to travel by local trains. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni asked the state government to come up with a comprehensive plan.Also Read - Pune: All Shops to Remain Shut on Sept 19 For Ganesh Visarjan | Read Guidelines Here

“The difference between the first situation and now is that the situation has improved because of the vaccine. All lawyers are above 18 years of age and are permitted to receive the vaccine now. So, a decision needs to be taken. Otherwise, what is the benefit of the vaccine? One is not supposed to sit at home even after taking the vaccine. Lawyers need to come to court at some point,” the HC said. Also Read - Mumbai Local Train Latest Update: Passenger Count Has Increased to 40 Lakh For First Time This Year

Furthermore, it asked if the state government had a comprehensive plan yet to relax restrictions for fully vaccinated citizens. “A comprehensive plan is needed, otherwise it is affecting everyone. It is affecting one’s finances, work. Look at the condition of roads. One takes three hours one-way to travel to Dahisar. Why this population using roads can’t be permitted to shift back to trains”, the bench stated. Also Read - Good News: Ahead of Possible COVID Third Wave, BMC’s Sero-survey Finds 70-80% Population Have Antibodies

It added, “The Railways is also cooperating, so please use your good office. We must make a beginning. Spread the net wide. Not only for lawyers, but also people coming from other walks of life.” The court will continue hearing the plea on August 5.

The development comes amid reports which claimed that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government is planning to allow fully vaccinated passengers to travel unrestricted in suburban train services. “The matter will be discussed with CM Uddhav Thackeray, post which people can expect an official announcement. However, the same might be approved only for those who have taken both the doses of COVID-19 vaccines”, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had stated.

Currently, the local train services are allowed only for those engaged in medical and essential services.