Mumbai, Oct 25 : In a major development, the Central Railway and Western Railway will resume 100 percent suburban services operations from October 28 for the millions of commuters in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, officials said on Monday.
However, only the specified categories of commuters shall be permitted as per the Covid-19 protocols of the Maharashtra government on both the Central Railway and Western Railway local train services.
The glad tidings comes 20 months after the unprecedented total stoppage of Mumbai’s lifeline, the suburban train services was implemented from March 22, 2020 till June 15, 2020, during the initial phase of the strict lockdown, badly hitting the 8.5 million-plus daily commuters of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Thereafter, skeletal to partial services that were operated for essential categories of commuters during the pandemic lockdown, and as restrictions eased, more categories were permitted to travel.
The latest move by the two railways is expected to reduce the current load on the highways and roads which have reported traffic jams almost daily with commuters facing massive delays in reaching their offices and homes.
The augmentation in local train services will also help the additional load expected as the state government is toying with the idea of permitting additional categories including the fully-vaccinated commuters.
Presently, the Central Railway and the Western Railway are operating almost 96 percent of their total services with 1,702 and 1,304 services, respectively, for the commuters.
From Thursday, this will be taken to the full pre-Covid levels with 1,774 and 1,367 services on the CR and the WR, respectively.
The full load will help reduce the excruciating delays many people, including students, who are experiencing in the past few months to commute from home to office or the educational institutions, and return.