The Maharashtra government yesterday greenlighted women passengers to travel in Mumbai local trains starting on Saturday (October 17), reported ANI. Women were said to have only allotted two slots; from 11 am to 3 pm and 7 pm to end of the services. During the said time period they won’t be required to scan the QR codes. However, the Western Railway (WR) has said it will not start Mumbai suburban train services for women unless it has approval from Railway board.

Reportedly, to start the services both state and railway authorities should agree on the protocols like social distancing etc. As per the earlier order, the women commuters were given a nod by the state to travel in the local trains without QR code passes that are currently provided to those who have been okayed to travel, such as the essential services providers.

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“During the said period, entry may be allowed to all ladies having valid tickets and to all emergency staff as well,” the state government said in a statement. “QR codes will not be required for ladies travelling during the said time period.” The railway authorities, however, yet to verify the same. Announcing the claim, Shivaji Sutar, chief public relation officer, Central Railway said, “We are processing it for getting approval of competent authority,” Hindustan Times reported.

“It’s requested that local trains services be made available to all women from 11 am to 3 pm and again from 7 pm till the end of local services for the day, from 17th Oct, in Mumbai & Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),” the state government said in a letter as it proved to be a big relief for travelling women in Mumbai. The train services in the state have been shut since March 23 as part of the nationwide lockdown. “Railway officials and Maharashtra government will have a meeting to quantify the number of passengers and then to set up protocol about maintaining social distancing, then only we can take the final call on it,” Sumit Thakur, WR Chief Public Relation Officer, said.

Once the approval is received from the Railway Board, such permission can be communicated. Without getting permission, it would not be possible to permit ladies during the stipulated hours from October 17 onwards in suburban trains,” the Western Railways said in a statement.

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The local train services were partially opened on June 15 but only to essential service providers who were allowed to board these trains after being allotted a special pass. The metro services will also restart at 8.30 am onwards on October 19.

Feature Image Credit: Outlook

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