Earlier this month, suburban train services in Chennai had resumed only for essential services personnel to commute to and from work.

TN CM requests Railway Minister to allow resumption of Chennai suburban trainsImage for representation/PTI
Coronavirus Railways Friday, October 23, 2020 - 13:59

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to the Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal requesting him to grant permission to resume full-fledged operations of the suburban trains in Chennai. Earlier this month, the suburban train services had resumed only for essential services personnel to commute to and from work.

In his letter dated October 23, the Chief Minister said that the state government had already requested the Union government to resume operations of the Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) and suburban trains in and around Chennai on September 2. “Resumption of EMU/Sub-urban trains will greatly help the general public and facilitate in the quick revival of the economy,” the letter said, pointing out that Southern Railway had already resumed operation of several inter-state and intra-state trains in Tamil Nadu. The letter also pointed out that the state government has already permitted the operation of public transport modes such as the Metro rail inside Tamil Nadu, following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, a skeletal service of suburban trains was resumed in Chennai, in which only essential service workers were allowed to travel. Called the ‘Workmen’s special’, it is mandatory for the personnel to get an authorisation from their employer and show their official identity card to be able to buy a ticket and travel.

As of Thursday, Tamil Nadu has 34,198 patients who are currently being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals and in their own homes. Of the 3,077 new cases reported on Thursday, 833 were from Chennai. Chennai currently has 11,107 active cases of COVID-19. The district also reported 13 deaths on Thursday, taking the total death toll due to COVID-19 in the state to 10,825. Tamil Nadu also saw 4,314 patients recover from COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total number of recovered patients to 6,55,170.