Mumbai, August 8 (IndiaToday) – Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced that the Mumbai local trains will open for those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 from August 15 onwards.
The train services were suspended for the public in April this year during the second wave of Covid-19. At present, only government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel in the local trains.
WHO WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO USE THE LOCAL TRAINS?
From August 15 onwards, those who have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least fifteen days prior to travel will be eligible to use the Mumbai local trains.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that an app has been developed for the same and its details would be provided on Monday. On the app, those who are eligible will have to give the details of their vaccination. They will then be provided with a downloadable pass that will allow them to travel on the local trains.
For those who do not have smartphones, the facility of applying for a pass at the local municipal ward offices or suburban railway stations will be available.
The chief minister also said, “Gradually, as the number of passes issued increases, it will indicate that more people are getting vaccinated. Accordingly, we will start opening up everything.”
PROTESTS, PIL DEMANDED OPENING OF LOCAL TRAINS
The pressure on the state government to open up the local trains in Mumbai has been mounting.
On Friday, the Maharashtra BJP staged protests in various suburbs of Mumbai demanding resumption of local train services for vaccinated people in the city. Bhim Army activists staged a protest with the same demand earlier on July 23 in Mumbai.
Additionally, the Bombay High Court has been hearing a public interest litigation in the same matter. On Thursday, the court asked the state government to consider allowing people who have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine to travel in local trains with passes.
COVID IN MUMBAI
On Saturday, Mumbai reported 331 fresh Covid-19 cases and five deaths in 24 hours. The positivity rate in the city remained below one per cent. A total of 19 lakh people in Mumbai are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra recorded a total of 6,061 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours on Sunday.
During his virtual address on Sunday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said his government was considering granting relaxations to shops, malls, restaurants and places of religious worship. A decision on this will be taken following a meeting of the Covid-19 task force on Monday.
However, he also added, “The virus is still lurking around us and we should not be complacent. I understand that your patience is wearing off. But please don’t lose patience.” Places, where Covid-19 numbers continue to be high, will have to remain under restrictions, the chief minister said.