The Maharashtra government wants the general public to be allowed to use Mumbai local train services during non-peak hours, an official confirmed on Wednesday.

Due to the COVID-19 threat and the protocols in place to mitigate the same, Mumbai local trains – which is the backbone of the city – is only accessible to limited people, including essential services staff.

The Maharashtra government, in a letter to the Railways, asked authorisation for any person holding a valid ticket to be able to board trains till 7:30 am, between 11 am and 4 pm and from 8 pm till the end of the day.

The letter was addressed to the general managers of the Central Railway and Western Railway besides the Government Railway Police commissioner

They suggested the time between 8 am and 10:30 am, along with between 5 pm to 7:30 pm, be reserved for only essential services staff with valid identity cards, along with hourly ladies special trains.

“The state is looking to open up the local train services to the general public while ensuring adherence to all COVID-19 protocols,” the letter read.  

The government also looked to increase the frequency of suburban services in operation for essential services staff since June 15.

Around 1,410 special services trains, along with 10 ladies special trains, are currently being run on the Mumbai suburban network.