Surbuban trains, or local trains that connect Chennai city and its outskirts, will resume service on Friday, June 25, indicating a gradual return to normalcy. This comes at a time when Chennai and its three neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, and Chengalpet each have less than 400 COVID-19 cases per day.
The Southern Railway, on the other hand, has stated that the service will be available to a select group of passengers, adding that all must strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
With permission letters and official ID cards, all government, court, and private sector employees can travel around the clock. Passengers who have reserved a seat on a mail or express train can also use the service around the clock.
Lady passengers are permitted to travel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can bring children under the age of 12 with them. Male passengers who do not fall into one of the above categories, on the other hand, can only travel during non-peak hours, i.e. early hours to 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. to closing hours. They would only be given single-journey tickets.
Those found entering trains or station premises without a mask will be fined Rs 500, the Railways have warned.
With cases in Tamil Nadu hovering around 6000 and on the decline, the state has imposed a district-specific lockdown. According to the current guidelines, 11 hotspot districts are subject to a variety of restrictions. Chennai and three neighbouring districts have the fewest restrictions, while the remaining 23 districts have moderate restrictions.
Earlier this week, on June 21, Chennai Metro resumed service, albeit with a 50% passenger occupancy limit.