The existing restrictions on travelling in local trains, metro trains and monorails in Mumbai cannot be relaxed at this juncture as COVID-19 cases are still spreading, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday. State government’s counsel PP Kakade told a bench of Justices KK Tated and Abhay Ahuja that only frontline health workers and state government staff are currently allowed to use the services of suburban trains, the monorail, and metro trains.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Cooperative Banks Employees Union (CBEU) seeking permission to travel to work by local trains, metro, and monorail services in the city.
CBEU counsel AS Peerzada urged the HC to allow the staff of cooperative banks to board trains to enable them to discharge essential banking services.
“Even during the first wave of the pandemic, the railways and state authorities had in September 2020 permitted all cooperative and private bank
officials to travel by local trains, metro trains, and monorail. Even currently, employees of nationalised bank are permitted to use local trains,” Peerzada said.
Kakade, however, said the staff of nationalised banks was currently not allowed to use local trains during the second wave of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 infections in the state are still spreading. We can’t open the trains for anyone else right now,” he said.
The bench also noted the petitioner had not produced any documentary evidence to show that staff of nationalised banks is permitted to use local trains and dismissed the plea.
The HC, however, allowed the CBEU to approach the court again if it could produce documentary proof to show nationalised bank staff is permitted to travel in local trains.