Saying that Mumbai is a cultural potpourri would be understating things enormously. However, a few things have come to form a part of the Mumbaiscapes more than the other - dabba walas, Bollywood and of course the Mumbai locals. Till the pandemic struck humanity, it was tough to imagine anyone bringing the Mumbai railways to a halt.

As the Maharashtra State Government announced that it will resume the Mumbai local train services for the general public from February 1, the news came along with gripping symbolism that things are back on the track. Finally.

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Mumbai local train [Representational image]Reuters

Mumbaikars back on track, literally

Though the trains will run as before but the commute just won't be the same. While the Mumbai surburban trains have been running since June, the local trains have taken this long to be operational due to the pandemic. As against the initial services of the trains, which were only for those part of the essential workforce, from February 1 onwards, general public will be able to commute in Mumbai's local trains.

Several time restrictions will be imposed on not just the train's time schedules but even the public. To manage the crowd, the slots will be allotted to commuters so as to fragment the traffic and avoid rush during any one particular time. It goes without saying that commuters are expected and advised to observe all the Covid-19 norms and precautions.

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[Representational image] Indian railways. Pictured: Commuters disembark from a crowded suburban train at Churchgate railway station in Mumbai, IndiaReuters

Terms and conditions apply

General public will be allowed to board from the start of the first local till 7 a.m, then from 12 p.m. onwards till 4 p.m. Then again the services resume from 9 p.m. till the last time of the service. It must be noted that during the rush hours from 7a.m to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., the services of local trains will only be available for essential workforce. Along side the staggered time slots of the trains, the state government has also asked offices to schedule staggered work hours to ensure the train's services are available to the staff as well as overcrowding is avoided.

The advisory

A major relief to the workforce

One user wrote having to spend Rs 6000 out of his salary of Rs 9500 on the bus fare. "The entire country has eased restrictions, it was high time the trains were functional for general public."