The Maharashtra government has allowed Dabbawalas or tiffin carriers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to travel by local trains in Unlock 5.0.
The Dabbawalas can board the local trains after procuring QR code passes from the Mumbai police commissioner's office, said the latest guidelines.
Currently, the local trains are being run only for essential services staff, state and central government staff, employees of nationalised and private banks, PSUs and pharma companies, and QR code-based identity cards are mandatory for them.
Unlock 5.0 is starting in the country from October 1, but the Maharashtra government has extended coronavirus-induced lockdown till October 31 in the state, which is the worst-affected by COVID-19.
However, in the latest guidelines, the state government has ended several lockdown restrictions.
Maharashtra Unlock 5 guidelines: All you need to know
As per the new guidelines, all the trains originating and ending the journey within the state will be restarted with immediate effect subject to health protocols for COVID-19.
The Railways will increase the frequency of local trains in the MMR. To reduce overcrowding on special suburban train services in the city, the Central Railway (CR) would introduce eight additional services including two ladies special trains from October 1.
Local trains in the Pune region will restart with protocols and procedures adopted in the MMR.
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Meanwhile, the state is seriously considering resumption of normal local train services in Mumbai by October 15, Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' said on September 30 quoting state minister Aaditya Thackeray.
According to the Shiv Sena publication, Thackeray, who is the environment and tourism minister, said the issue of resumption of suburban train services for common citizens is being considered as part of efforts to bring the state's economy back on track.
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Also, hotels, restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate from October 5 with a capacity not exceeding 50 percent or as prescribed by local authorities. A separate Standard Operating Procedure will be issued by the tourism department for precautions to be taken while operating these establishments, an official release said.
(With inputs from PTI)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.