After a request by the Maharashtra government, the Indian Railways on Tuesday, 20 October, permitted women commuters to travel by suburban trains during certain times from 21 October.
Making the announcement on Tuesday evening, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said all women would be allowed to travel in the local trains from Wednesday between 11 am and 3 pm and after 7 pm till the last train.
"We were always ready and with the receipt of the letter from the Maharashtra government on Tuesday, we have allowed the travel," Goyal said in a tweet.
In a major 'Unlock' initiative on 16 October, the state government on Friday had said it would allow all the women to commute by local trains at certain hours starting from 17 October.
However, on Friday evening, both the Western Railways and Central Railways refused to oblige without a green signal from the Railway board.
In a letter to the General Managers of Western Railways and Central Railways, the Maharashtra government said all women with valid tickets/passes would be permitted to travel during certain hours without requiring the QR codes, besides allowing the existing emergency/essential workers.
Earlier on Tuesday, the state government had sent a reminder letter to the Western Railways-Central Railways resulting in the decision.
After the Western Railways and Central Railways shot down the proposal to allow women commuters, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra had slammed the Centre for not permitting women commuters.
Women comprise nearly 40 percent of the 85 lakh daily commuters and the move would help lakhs of women office-goers in the government and private sector, academics and other sectors, who need to travel by the Mumbai local trains daily.
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