Govt of Maharashtra had requested Railwaysto permit all ladies commuters to travel by Special Suburbantrains over Mumbai Suburban network, during the non-peak hoursie from 11 AM to 3 PM & again from 7 PM onwards till end of local services for the day. Western railway have asked State Government authoritieson 16th oct to convey quantum of passengers likely to increase due to the above stated stream of traffic and also convene a meeting to work out the modalities in this regard.
According to a Press Release issued by Shri Sumit Thakur- Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Rly,a letter in this regard was received on 16th October, 2020 from Govt of Maharashtra& on the same day, the reply was sent by Western Rly to Govt of Maharashtra. Railway is in full preparednessand WR is currently running 700 special suburban services, including 2 Ladies Special services during the peak hours & similarly Central Rly is running total 706 special suburban services. Again discussion in this regard was held on 18th oct with state govt to finalise the modalities.Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) have also looked into the issue and have asked State Government Authorities to finalize the necessary modalitiesin view of Covid- 19 pandemic and convey the same to railways. The decision will be based to ensure that social & medical protocolslike social distancing with regards to prevailing COVID-19 protocols can be followed. He stated that considering the present scenario of Covid19 pandemic state govt has to ensure thatovercrowding is to be avoided at platforms and in trains and effectively counter the law & order situation.
Shri Thakur stated thatfrom 15th June, 2020 on the request of Maharashtra Govt., Western Railway resumed its selected Suburban services for essential category staff as notified by Govt of Maharashtra and which has been gradually increased so that all COVID19 protocol can be followed in light of addition of new categories of essential category of staff by state govt. The recent increase was done when the number of special suburban services was increased from 506 to 700 by Western Rly with effect from 15th October, 2020. At present, the daily ridership of WR's suburban section is carrying approx3.2 lakh passengers.