Unlock 1: Indian Railways resumes partial operations, 200 passenger trains to run from today
The 200 passenger trains are in addition to the 15 special trains and the Shramik Specials that began operations earlier in May
Indian Railways has begun operations for 200 passenger train services from June 1, 2020. Over 1.45 lakh passengers are expected to board the passenger trains, beginning their journey from different cities across the nation.
The railways is resuming its operations partially after almost a two-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Railway Board is currently monitoring the booking of the trains then it will decide on the functioning of trains like Duronto, Shatabdi and Garib Rath.
The trains that have resumed operations currently include special express and mail trains. These are in addition to the 15 special trains and the Shramik Specials that began operations earlier in May. The demand for Shramik Special trains has reportedly been declining.
• According to the Railway Ministry, around 26 lakh passengers have booked advance tickets on the special passenger trains till June 30.
• The Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav revealed that the board is monitoring the booking of tickets in these 200 special trains and it is aiming to bring back normalcy. Currently, the service of Shatabdi, Duronto and Garib Rath has not restarted.
• The Railways will decide on running more trains in the second phase after assessing the requirement. It will deploy more trains include Duronto, Shatabdi or Garib Rath as per the requirement.
• The Indian Railways has allowed luggage in these trains and the special trains operating between Delhi and 15 major cities.
• However, no passenger will be allowed to travel with unreserved tickets and no tickets will be issued on board to any passenger during the journey. While RAC passengers will be allowed to board the trains, passengers on the waiting list will not be allowed.
• All passengers will undergo screening before boarding and only asymptomatic will be given a go-ahead for travel. The Railways has advised all passengers to reach the station 90 minutes in advance.
• Further, upon arrival at their destination, the passengers will be required to follow the health protocols that are prescribed by the destination state.
• The food will be provided as it is done in a Rajdhani. There will be no provision of pre-paid meal booking or e-catering. The Indian Railways has made provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis in limited trains that have an attached pantry car.
• The Railways will not be providing any linen, curtains or blankets in the AC coaches. All passengers have been requested to carry their own linen.
• Besides this, all passengers have been requested to download and use the Aarogya Setu app.
The resumption in partial operations of the Indian Railways is being seen as a huge step forward in bringing normalcy and in ensuring restoration of passenger train services, which were halted for over two months. The passenger trains include both AC and Non-AC classes. The general coaches have reserved sitting to ensure social distancing.
The Indian Railways had begun Shramik Special trains from May 1 amid the coronavirus lockdown to assist the stranded migrant labourers, students and pilgrims to reach back home. The Railways then began 15 pairs of special trains connecting Delhi to different cities in the nation.
The latest partial resumption of operation comes as the country enters the first phase of opening up the economy with Unlock 1. Some states like Maharashtra, however, have extended the lockdown till June 30. On a national level, the lockdown has been extended till June 30 in containment zones.