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State to Rly board: Metro & locals can be resumed

In a limited manner, maintaining all health safety protocols, says govt

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

State government has written a letter to the Railway Board, stating that metro and local train services can be resumed in a limited manner in Bengal by maintaining all health safety protocols.

The government, however, did not mention any date from which the services can be resumed.

In a letter to the Railway Board chairman, state home secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said: “This is to
bring to your notice that state government is of the view that metro and local train services can be resumed in Bengal in a limited manner maintaining the norms of physical distancing and health hygiene protocols.”

In an attempt to ensure smooth operations of services, the government has also requested the board to come up with the required modalities and logistics.

“Before resumption of the services, the required modalities and logistics to ensure smooth operation may be worked out in consultation with the state government,” the letter read.

The move comes two days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the state government is willing to allow one-fourth of suburban train services and metro services with adequate safety protocols, including social distancing from 1 September.

“If the Railways want to talk to us, we are ready. We have no problem,” Miss Banerjee had said on Wednesday after the state Cabinet meeting in Nabanna.

The restrictions on domestic flight operations have also been relaxed and the services from six hotspot cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, and Ahmedabad, which are currently
suspended till 31 August, have been allowed thrice a week from 1 September.

The state government had introduced bi-weekly complete lockdown from last week of July to break the chain of Covid.

On 26 August, the state government extended the existing
lockdown and complete
bi-weekly lockdown in the state till 20 September for further containing the virus.

As per norms, all the public and private transport facilities remain shut during days of complete lockdown.