The wait for non-essential workers to commute via Mumbai local trains may get longer, as the Central Railway said it was yet to receive the state government's proposal for unrestricted resumption of services.
Sanjeev Mittal, General Manager of Central Railway, said mass travel in Mumbai local could be facilitated only after a proposal is received from the Maharashtra government.
The proposal, after being received from the state, would be forwarded to the Railway Board for approval, Mittal told reporters at a press meet after inspecting work on the Kolhapur-Satara route of the Railways.
"If the general public were to be permitted to travel, a proposal is expected from the state government," Mumbai Mirror quoted Mittal as saying on January 25.
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Mumbai local trains had last plied for the general populace on March 21, 2020, two days before a nationwide lockdown came into effect to curb the transmission of COVID-19.
From May onwards, the services were resumed for essential workers. Curbs were relaxed later in the year to allow bank employees, lawyers and registered clerks to travel in allotted time slots. Women commuters were also permitted to use the trains in non-peak hours.
On January 24, the Federation of Retail Welfare Association urged the Maharashtra government to allow the mass resumption of train services in Mumbai.
In the past week, the Kalyan-Kasara Railway Passengers Welfare Association appealed to the government to lift the curbs for students.
With the daily case count sliding in Mumbai to its lowest in the last six months, speculations were rife that the government may take a favourable decision.
Earlier this month, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said a decision on trains' resumption would be in accordance to the trend of coronavirus cases in the New Year.