Even as Indian Railways has resumed select local train services in Mumbai to ferry those providing essential services, bank employees are not being allowed to use the service to commute, bank unions said.
Banks are declared as the essential service provider by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and have been providing uninterrupted banking services since the first lockdown announced on March 23.
Western Railway and Central Railway are running selected suburban train services only for essential services as identified by the state government.
"Since the railway authorities have started local trains for the employees from essential service but bank employees have been denied using that service as they are not in the list of essential services," Union Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Maharashtra Convenor Devidas Tujapurkar said.
"On the one side, the government expects banks to extend uninterrupted services even during the lockdown but when it comes to using local train services, banks are not considered in the list of essential service providers, which is disturbing," he added.
Central Railway said that around 1.25 lakh essential staff (including 50,000 on Western Railway) as identified by the state government are expected to travel by these trains.
While speaking to PTI, an employee of Syndicate Bank said, "I tried to enter Dadar station in the morning to travel to my branch in Churchgate but police did not allow me."
Railways has also appealed to the public that only the essential staff as identified by the state government will be permitted to travel by selected suburban services and requested others not to rush to the stations.
In a letter written to the chief secretary, Maharashtra government, Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation (MSBEF) have requested to allow bank employees to use the suburban train services.
"We earnestly request you to please extend this service to the bank employees to enable them to report to their duties regularly. This will also facilitate extending full-fledged banking services to all," the letter said.
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