Mumbai is home to India's numerous industries, and it carries the ambitions of an entire nation. Millions of people who make this city come alive travel by the lyrical rattle of the local trains spiking through the city which never sleeps. But unfortunately, it napped for sometime after the novel coronavirus whacked the entire world. Local trains of Mumbai, for the first time in its history, were shut down for so many months, starting from March 22, after the Maharashtra government decided to go for a complete lockdown. After being relatively reserved, the lifeline of Mumbai is gradually re-starting for the general public. It will be opened to all in fixed time slots from 1 February 2021, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office announced. The CM office explained that Mumbai local trains are an essential service for lakhs of people of Mumbai and particularly for the people coming from an economically weaker section.

The Mumbai local trains will be running for all, but there are certain time slots on which no common passenger can travel by trains. For the general public, the trains will be running from its first service to 7 am, and from 7 am to noon (12 pm) the general public cannot board the train. And similarly, the general public cannot travel from 4 pm to 9 pm. In these two specific slots, only those who are in essential services, such as healthcare staff, frontline workers, those with a special pass from the state government and single women travellers will be allowed to travel by train.

The CM office has also appealed to the public not to gather unnecessarily on railway stations if they are not among those allowed to travel at given times. The authorities have appealed to all the people to follow all the standard operating protocols of the COVID-19, when in the station or in the trains, including maintaining social distancing if possible and compulsorily wearing the face masks. The historic decision to shut down the entire railway network of Mumbai was taken as part of a larger decision of the Ministry of Railways to shut all passenger trains across the entire nation in a bid to resist the spread of novel coronavirus. The state government restricted access to local trains from 22 March, by deploying official teams at every station to check and permit access only to people who were part of essential services such as healthcare staff and police. Eventually, the state government also permitted women, some government workers and other emergency services. In December 2020, the government also allowed passengers who were travelling on outstation trains to travel by local trains. And the Maharashtra state government regulated strict patterns to allow people to travel by the local trains.

The possibilities of restarting the Mumbai local trains were already showing up due to the mass COVID-19 vaccination drive across Maharashtra, followed by a huge reduction in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state. The local trains are now starting from 1 February within two slots, but the railway authority has referred to a lot of councils before the decision, considering the current circumstances. Some railway officials have stated that the local trains were operating with around 90% services without any problems. And they were waiting for the state government directive on allowing the general public in the trains. And now the general public is allowed to travel by the local trains, except 7 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm, and this decision will be relatively productive for numerous people at some point.

Now when the Mumbai local trains will be starting from 1 February, the platforms will be crowded in the given times. Thus, it will be extremely crucial to obey all the COVID-19 protocols while travelling by trains. Before the lockdown, the lifeline of Mumbai used to carry around 7.5 million passengers every day. This city acts as a hub for multiple types of industries and a majority of the city is compelled to go over greater distances to get on to work, and the Mumbai local trains are the best option to do that, and that's why they are called as the lifelines of Mumbai.