Chennai: In an indication of a gradual return to normalcy, surbuban trains or local trains that connect Chennai city and its outskirts will be functioning from Friday, June 25. This comes at a time when Chennai and its adjoining three districts of Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengalpet are each seeing less than 400 daily COVID-19 cases.
However, the Southern Railway has said that the service will be open for a select category of passengers, adding that all must strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
All government, court and private sector staff can travel round the clock with permission letters and official ID cards. Likewise passnegers who have a reserved ticked on a mail or express train can use the service round the clock.
Lady passengers are allowed to travel round the clock and can also take children below the age of 12 along with them. Whereas male passengers who are not in the above categories can only travel during non-peak hours i.e. early hours to 7 am, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and 7 pm to closing hours. Only single journey tickets would be issued to them.
Those found entering the trains or station premises without wearing a mask would be penalised with a fine of Rs 500, the Railways warned.
With cases across Tamil Nadu hovering around the 6000 mark and witnessing a declining trend, Tamil Nadu is under a district-specific lockdown. According to the present guidelines, 11 hotspot districts have multiple restrictions in place. Chennai and three adjoining districts have the least restrictions and the remaining 23 districts have a moderate amount of restrictions.
Earlier this week, on June 21, Chennai Metro too had resumed services, while permitting only 50 per cent passenger occupancy.