Southern Railway on Saturday announced that women passengers in Chennai would now be allowed to travel in suburban trains in the city without any restrictions on all days of the week from December 14. Previously, Southern Railway has been allowing women to travel during non-peak hours while those engaged in essential services were allowed during peak hours.
Notably, suburban trains on Chennai Beach- Chengalpet– Kancheepuram/Thirumalpur-Arakkonam routes will also be resumed on December 14. The lines are most favoured by office going crowds in addition to college students. So far, Southern Railway has been allowing more categories of passengers to resume services in a phased manner.
As part of further extending the relaxation, Southern Railway in a press release said all women passengers can travel in Chennai suburban trains without any time restrictions on all days of the week with effect from December 14. Children under the age of 12 years accompanying the women passengers too would also be permitted to travel.
"This move would benefit lady passengers as they will be able to travel in the Chennai suburban services throughout the day," the release said.
Southern Railway has appealed to the passengers to follow COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and to cooperate with railway employees for checking valid documents during their travel.
In October, Southern Railway had resumed suburban train services only for essential staff to commute to and from work.
In the same month, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to grant permission to resume full-fledged operations of suburban trains in Chennai. With effect from September 7, Southern Railway had announced resumption of train services on select routes in Tamil Nadu in line with the state government lifting the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
(With inputs from PTI)