Indian Railways services post lockdown: Indian Railways is preparing to begin train operations from April 15, 2020, according to a report.
Indian Railways services post lockdown: Indian Railways is preparing to begin train operations from April 15, 2020, according to a report by PTI. The report citing sources mentioned that Indian Railways has started preparations for resuming services post the 21-day suspension after nationwide-lockdown was announced. It added that railways running staff, guards, TTE, safety personnel and other officials have been asked to be ready to resume services after the Coronavirus lockdown ends. While the report states that Indian Railways is ready to start services, no decision on the date of resuming train operations has been decided, Railway Ministry officials told Financial Express Online. The trains will start running only after the national transporter receives a notification from the government.
The report said that the government has formed a group of ministers that will be looking into the issue and making decisions. According to the report, a “restoration plan” has been issued to all railway zones and a schedule of trains that will be running, availability of rakes and their frequency was also provided. All 17 zones have been asked to prepare for running their respective services. The trains that are likely to be functional include Duronto, Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. With these, 80 per cent of the trains are expected to resume operations come in the next 11 days, the report said.
The government has asked Indian Railways to follow all the protocols that are required at the time of the Coronavirus outbreak and rigorously conduct thermal screening of all the passengers, the report added. However, the report said that senior officers did not admit to any new orders that were given to Indian Railways. The last order Indian Railways received was to suspend operations till April 14, 2020. The report highlighted that the concrete plans will be sent to the zones shortly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown across the country that led to suspension of 13,523 trains from March 25 to April 14 this year. The move was unprecedented and essential to contain the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus that has currently affected almost 3,000 people in India. It is to note that while passenger carrying trains were suspended, freight trains continued to run in order to ensure smooth delivery of essentials.