Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that fully vaccinated people will be allowed to travel in the Mumbai Suburban railway locals beginning August 15. So far, only people working in the essential services sector were permitted to take the locals that connect the city to Palghar as well as Raigad districts.
Railway tickets and passes will be issued through a smartphone application that the government is designing for this same purpose.
While the local train services were reinstated in February 2021, the Maharashtra government decided to stop them again in the month of April as cases rose across the city during the second wave.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region- the areas that the local train network is connected to has been reporting less than one thousand cases for more than a week. This reduction in cases is primarily the reason why the Thackeray government is deciding to restart local commuter travel in the trains.
The CM has also forewarned that if the cases increase, he will look at closing the services again. Restarting local train services, however, is not without risks as only 23 lakh people- not including health and frontline workers- have already been vaccinated in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. According to developing research, vaccines reduce the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections but do not stop people from being infected or transmitting the virus. The fully vaccinated, thus, can also be infected by COVID-19 in the future.
The table below shows the number of fully vaccinated people as of August 9, 8 am, in the regions the Western, Central, and Harbour lines of Mumbai local trains cater to.
|Region||Fully vaccinated 18-44 years||Fully vaccinated 45+|
BOOM explains how the fully vaccinated can travel in the local trains in Mumbai.
Procedure For Train Travel
The Maharashtra government will unveil a smartphone application which will permit commuters to enter details about their vaccination status. People who have received both the doses of Covishield, Covaxin, or Sputnik V can enter their second dose details along with their PAN card or Aadhar card number that they had used to register on the Cowin website.
Commuters can only travel if their second dose was 14 days before they issue a railway ticket. The application will permit them to then book and download a monthly pass or a regular ticket.
Taking into consideration those that do not use smartphones, these passengers can avail of passes with photo id from the railway stations after showing their vaccine certificates. These can also be collected from the local ward offices in each area.
These passes with specific QR codes will be assessed by railway officials to ensure that people are not using fraudulent means to create railway passes. Thackeray believes that this number of vaccinated passengers will help in unlocking other activities in the city.