The state government is also working out modalities in order to allow more passengers to use the city's local train services as well as trying to develop a system of "colour coded e-pass system" for it.
The state government of Maharashtra recently told the Bombay High Court that it had empowered the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways to impose fine on those commuters of Mumbai local trains, who are found travelling without face masks despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The state government is also working out modalities in order to allow more passengers to use the city’s local train services as well as trying to develop a system of “colour coded e-pass system” for it. The submission was made by Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni, according to a PTI report.
The Advocate General was responding to a previous suggestion of the High Court to increase local train services that are currently operating in the financial capital and to allow people from sectors besides essential services to use the suburban train services. He told the bench that the state government had already allowed women and lawyers to use local train services. Besides, Mumbai Metro employees and private security guards will also be permitted to use the local trains, Kumbhakoni said.
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When the Bombay High Court added that the commuters must be encouraged to follow all novel coronavirus safety norms, the Advocate General said that all local train passengers in Mumbai would have to wear face masks. According to Kumbhakoni, until now, only the Mumbai police had the power to impose fines on the public for not wearing face masks. Now, other than Mumbai police, the RPF has been empowered too to impose such a fine so that local train passengers do not travel without wearing face masks.
The Bombay High Court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations that were filed by lawyers, seeking permission to use Mumbai suburban train services to commute to work. Following the previous orders from the court, all lawyers are currently allowed to use the local train services during non peak hours.