West Bengal government and Indian Railways on Monday (November 2) decided to resume local train services on the Eastern Railways and South Eastern Railways. 

A meeting was held on Monday between the state and the railway ministry on the resumption of local trains in the state. In the meeting, it was decided that only 10 to 15% trains will operate with 50 % seating capacity. The frequency could be increased to 25% after Diwali.

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However, there were discussions to resume local trains in a virtual system like Metro. The metro service has been resumed in the city of Kolkata using the virtual method. 

Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said, “We will meet again on November 5 to finalise the calendar and route. For now, 600 passengers would be allowed on local trains which have a seating capacity of 1,200 each. The State government is not in favour of e-passes as a measure to control crowds, an arrangement that has been implemented at Kolkata Metro.”

“The State government said that such an attempt will be “exclusionary” and will be a disadvantage to those who do not have access to smartphones or internet,” he added.

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Earlier, the number of passengers on local trains in Kolkata was 35 lakhs every day. The government has planned to resume the local train service on a small scale during office hours.