In a major relief for daily commuters in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has started the process of opening up the city's vast suburban rail network for citizens. Considered the maximum city's lifeline, the local train network was shut off months when the pandemic struck, and thereafter it largely remained operational only for those working in essential services.
However, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced further easing of curbs along with allowing fully vaccinated persons onboard the local trains, starting 15 August.
The process to issue passes for travel by local trains in the Mumbai region for those who have taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccines will begin at railway stations from Wednesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Here is all you need to know about this development.
Am I eligible for Mumbai local pass?
Any person who has completed 14 days after getting the second dose of coronavirus vaccines will be allowed to board suburban trains from 15 August.
What documents do I need to purchase a monthly pass?
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that those who want to purchase a pass are required to carry a hard copy of:
- COVID-19 vaccination final certificate
- A photo ID for verification.
The passes will be issued after verification of the vaccination status, the BMC said, adding that strict legal action under the Epidemic Control Act / Disaster Management Act Indian Penal Code, will be taken if fake vaccination certificates are produced to obtain passes.
If a person does not have even one of the two documents -- vaccination certificate and photo ID -- she or he will be denied entry at the railway station, it added.
Where can I get my pass?
Citizens can approach the station nearest to their house for verification and purchase of pass. The BMC has set up several helpdesks at stations to assist commuters with the verification process. The civic body said the help desks will be operational in two consecutive sessions from 7 am to 11 pm.
- A total of 358 help desks will be set up at 53 railway stations falling under the BMC's jurisdiction.
- Besides, help desks will be set up at 56 suburban stations falling in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (outside BMC limits) by the respective authorities
What are the timings for sale of Mumbai local train passes?
The sale of passes has started from today morning. The civic body said the help desks will be operational in two consecutive sessions between 7 am to 11 pm on all seven days of the week.
"The offline process of issuing monthly season passes will continue on all seven days of the week till further orders and therefore people need not rush to the railway stations," the civic body said.
What is the process to purchase a pass?
- Citizens should approach their nearest local station and locate the BMC helpdesk. These are located near ticket windows for ease of access
- Produce hard copy of your final vaccination certificate and a copy of your photo ID proof along with the original for verification
- The civic staff at a help desk will check the validity of the Final Vaccination Certificate (Second Dose) on the CoWin app.
- Once the verification is completed and both the documents are found to be valid, the certificate and the identification proof will be stamped in the prescribed format, the BMC said.
- The stamped Covid certificate will have to be presented at the ticket window to get a pass.
Can I purchase my pass online or through UTS app?
Not yet. The BMC said that an app for online verification of documents and sale of passes was being developed. But it may take a little more time.
Government employees and other essential services staff will continue to be allowed to travel by local trains, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated.
Central Railway and Western Railway officials said the number of ticketing windows will be increased.
WR spokesperson said it has opened 276 windows across the stations between Churchgate and Dahanu, whereas the CR said it will operate 341 ticket windows.
According to the BMC, so far it has administered 76,56,487 vaccine doses. As many as 19,14,771 people have received both doses.