The Maharashtra government on Wednesday allowed the metro services in Mumbai to resume in a graded manner from October 15 as part of its “Mission Begin Again”.
The Mumbai Metro thanked the government and said that it has already begun safety inspections and trial runs. It said that the passenger operations will restart from October 19.
As part of the guidelines, business-to-business exhibitions will also be permitted from Thursday. State-run as well as private-run libraries will also be allowed to function from 9 am to 9 pm with necessary Covid-19 precautions from the same date.
Local weekly markets, including those for animals, will also be allowed to operate from Thursday. Further, regular shops will be permitted to function for two additional hours to reduce crowding, according to PTI.
The government has also decided to remove stamping for domestic passengers with indelible ink at airports and railway stations after conducting a coronavirus test.
The government, however, has not allowed the reopening of religious places. Earlier this week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari were locked in a war of words over the reopening of religious places. In his letter to Thackeray on Monday, Koshyari had questioned his decision to keep religious places in the state closed and sarcastically asked if he had turned secular. On Tuesday, the chief minister told the governor that he did not need a “certificate” of Hindutva from him.
Apart from religious places, the government has also not permitted the reopening of gyms, swimming pools, schools, colleges, educational institutions and cinema halls. On September 30, the Centre had issued the guidelines for the fifth phase of “unlock”, allowing cinema halls to reopen at 50% capacity, and permitting states to take a call on the opening of schools from October 15. Besides this, it had allowed swimming pools to be used for the training of sportspersons from the same date.
Earlier this month, the Maharashtra government had reopened its restaurants and bars from October 5 in accordance to the Centre’s unlock guidelines.
Maharashtra has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in India. The state has so far reported 15,43,837 coronavirus infections and the toll stood at 40,701, according to Union health ministry’s data. The active cases in the state was 2,05,884, while 12,97,252 patients have recovered.