Travel and transport rules you need to know as Maharashtra tightens Covid curbs


Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state in India from the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, forcing the government here to recently announce tightening of curbs that have already been in place. The new set of restrictions announced will be enforced from 8 pm today (Thursday, April 22) and will remain in place till 7 am on May 1.

The idea behind the restrictions are to ensure that maximum number of people remain at homes and that crowds of any kind are avoided. As such, public transportation – although operational – will only be for personnel involved in essential services. As such, local trains, metro and monorail services are only for government employees and healthcare workers, upon production of valid I cards. Movement of private passenger transport is only for emergency and essential services and restricted to within the city of residence.

Emergency and essential services’ workers can also make use of state-run buses but each of these will only operate at 50% of total capacity.

Anyone needing emergency medical assistance or specially-abled people can avail the transport services.

There have also been curbs announced on the number of people that can attend a marriage ceremony or a funeral. Violators of any of these and other restrictions announced can be fined heavily.

Maharashtra reported over 67,000 cases on Wednesday and there were 568 deaths across the state, as per data released by PIB Maharashtra. The existing health infrastructure here are under tremendous strain as it is in many other parts of the country as well. As such, the state government here has seen strict restrictions as an emergency way of slowing the rate of transmission.

Many other states and cities have also announced curfews and lockdowns with the same objective. There is a lockdown in place in Delhi till April 26 while Karnataka also announced restrictions after cases continued to soar. A night curfew is in place in Kerala and Punjab while weekend curfew in Rajasthan has been extended till May 3. Eight districts in Chhattisgarh are under complete lockdown. Gujarat and Odisha have night curfews in several cities and districts, respectively.