The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to allow metro trains in Mumbai to operate from October 15 in a phased manner under its mission 'Begin Again'.
Soon after the government's decision, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited, which operates the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor in the megalopolis, said the services on the route that were suspended since March, will resume from October 19.
The government also allowed reopening of all state-run and private libraries from Thursday following COVID-19 protocols, as per the guidelines issued.
It also allowed business-to-business exhibitions from Thursday outside the containment zones.
Local weekly bazars, including that of animals, will also be allowed to reopen outside containment zones.
With an aim to reduce crowd, markets and shops will be allowed to remain open for two additional hours till 9 pm from Thursday.
Significantly, the government has decided to do away stamping with indelible ink for domestic passengers arriving at different airports after COVID-19 testing.
Similarly, the health check up and stamping of passengers at railway stations will also be stopped.
The state government said metro rails will be allowed to operate in a graded manner and the SOPs for the same will be issued by the urban development department.
"The urban development department will take into consideration the SOP issued by the ministry of housing and urban affairs for the same," reads the guidelines.
A spokesperson of the MMOPL said that they have received an official communication from the state government about starting the metro services.
Taking to Twitter, the MMOPL said that metro line operations between Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar will resume from 8.30 am on Monday.
"We have already initiated safety inspections and trial runs and are set to restart passenger operations from Monday," it said.
It, however, did not make it clear if common passengers would be allowed to use the services or whether it was restricted for essential services staff, like suburban locals.
The 11.7 km long metro line used to ferry over 4.5 lakh commuters every day.
The Western Railway has already announced addition of 194 suburban services, including 10 of air-conditioned locals, from October 15. With this, the number of special suburban services on the WR will go
up to 700 from 506.
Officials said that the Central Railway is also likely to add around 200 services to take the number of services to 700 from existing 453.