New Delhi: In a bid to maintain social distancing following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western Railway has decided to increase the number of daily special suburban services in Mumbai from 350 to 500 from Monday, September 21. In a statement, the Western Railway also urged the essential category staff as per identified by the state government to follow social distancing and wear a mask during travel. “The number of daily special suburban services will be increased from 350 to 500 on Western Railway from September 21 to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding. The essential staff as notified by the state government to travel in local trains is requested to follow social distancing and wear a mask during travel,” the statement read.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Railways has permitted 10 per cent of the total staff of all cooperative and private banks to travel by Mumbai suburban trains. “On the request of state government, permission has been granted by Ministry of Railways, Government of India to personnel of all cooperative and private banks to the extent of 10 per cent of the total staff strength as approved by Government of Maharashtra, for travel by special suburban services over Mumbai Suburban network,” the Central Railways said in a statement. The selected 10 percent of staff have to obtain a QR code from the state government. “Until such time, valid identity cards are an authority for entry at the stations. Additional booking counters will be opened at important railway stations for the passengers,” the statement said.