The Maharashtra government is considering allowing private sector employees to use Mumbai’s local trains for their daily commute. At present, only state and central government, insurance, bank and hospital employees are allowed to travel on local trains with valid ID cards.
The move comes as the state considers hardships of people living in the extended suburbs and satellite townships. State relief and rehabilitation secretary Kishor Nimbalkar said a plan is being worked out, Mumbai Mirror reported.
Another government official said that private offices may be asked to implement staggered work hours so as to lessen crowd in trains. “Only then we can allow private office staff to use suburban trains,” they said.
Moneycontrol could not immediately verify the report.
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Maharashtra allows for 30 percent strength in private offices, but employees faced difficulties due to limited options and expensive travel. If sanctioned, it will be a big relief for the city’s private-sector workforce who are at present restricted to buses (state transport/BEST), auto-rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles and services.
Apart from local trains, the state government is also reluctant to re-open places of worship, gyms and theatres. Nimbalkar has filed an affidavit justifying its stand in the Bombay High Court, against “strong demand from Hindu organisations due to Navratri,” it added.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here