Chennai: Southern Railway on Saturday said women passengers other than essential services staff would be allowed to travel in suburban train services during non-peak hours with effect from November 23.

Southern Railway, in a press release, said, it has scaled up the number of suburban services in Chennai to 244 trains per day which were 40 percent to the pre-COVID/-19 levels aimed at serving the essential services staff of both government and other organizations.

Women passengers will now be allowed to travel in Chennai Suburban trains during non-peak hours from Monday to Saturday and to travel throughout the day on Sundays, a press release said.

They will be allowed to travel before 7 am and after 1030 am till 4.30 pm and after 7.30 pm till 12 am Monday-Saturday.

They can use their season tickets for traveling or on the purchase of single journey tickets. Children up to the age of 12 are also allowed to travel with them during non-peak hours.

Southern Railway has appealed to the passengers to follow COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and cooperating with railway employees for checking valid documents during their travel.

With effect from September 7, Southern Railway had announced the resumption of train services on select routes in Tamil Nadu in line with the state government lifting the COVID-19 lockdown induced suspension.

In October, Southern Railway had resumed suburban train services only for essential staff to commute to and from work.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami had written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to grant permission to resume full-fledged operations of the suburban trains in Chennai in October.


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Bengaluru, Nov 30: Congress Karnataka unit president D K Shivakumar on Monday said Hinduism is no one's property and the party believes in the Hindutva of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, and in protecting the interest of people belonging to all communities.

"Ours is Mahatma Gandhi's Hindutva, Vivekananda's Hindutva...Hinduism is no one's property....India's tradition, culture is the wealth that belongs to all of us .

We (Congress) will protect and safeguard the interest of everyone as said in our constitution," Shivakumar told reporters in response to a question about recent developments regarding inter-faith marriages and Hindutva politics.

"Protecting the constitution is our commitment and our stand," he added.

Shivakumar had convened a meeting of senior leaders of the party today on developments in the state and strengthening the Congress as an organisation.

Shivakumar said booth and panchayat level committees will be formed in the coming days towards organising the party and to make Congress a cadre based party.

The booth committees will be called "Praja Pratinidhi" and it will have representation from across sections of the society.

"We will implement it during the upcoming gram panchayat elections itself," he said.

The Karnataka State Election Commission on Monday announced polls to 5,762 gram panchayats in the state in two phases on December 22 and 27, and the model code of conduct has come into immediate effect.

Welcoming the announcement of the polls, Shivakumar said "For the gram panchayat election we are forming nine teams.All our leaders will be part of it.

However senior they (leaders) are, they will visit various parts of the state from district to assembly level.

MLAs have been given responsibility of neighbouring constituencies," he said.