The Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav has recently directed all the zones of Indian Railways to be prepared to convert a total of 20,000 coaches into isolation wards for placing COVID-19 patients.
Top 5 steps by Indian Railways amidst Coronavirus lockdown! With the entire country in complete lockdown for 21 days in wake of COVID-19 pandemic, passenger train services have been suspended by Indian Railways across its network. Piyush Goyal-chaired Railway Ministry has come up with various measures to help the Centre and state governments to curb this deadly infection from spreading. Several noteworthy measures have been implemented by the ministry to help those who are in quarantine and those who need to be basic essentials. Here are top 5 steps taken by Indian Railways to help the nation fighting COVID-19 pandemic:
1) Coaches turned into quarantine facilities: Indian Railways is transforming coaches into wards for those who need to be quarantined so that they can be kept there and provided with medical facilities and food. The Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav has recently directed all the zones of Indian Railways to be prepared to convert a total of 20,000 coaches into isolation wards for placing COVID-19 patients. Besides, Indian Railways is also planning to utilize the hostel building of High-Speed Rail Training Institute that is situated in Vadodara, as a backup quarantine centre.
2) Ensuring essential supplies: Even though passenger train services have been cancelled, the freight train services are still operational on Indian Railways network. The national transporter is making all efforts to ensure the availability of essential items such as food grains, salt, milk, sugar, edible oil, fruits, vegetables, etc., through its uninterrupted freight services.
3) Manufacturing protective gear: In a bid to control the spread of COVID 19, Indian Railways is also developing personal protective equipment (PPE) on a large scale after procuring raw materials. Recently, it was reported that Indian Railways had manufactured hand sanitizers. The Production Units of Indian Railways are also likely to produce other essential medical items like hospital beds, water tanks, medical trolleys, ventilators, hospital bedside lockers, etc.
4) Extension of retiring rooms: As the operations of all the passenger train services have been suspended by the Railway Ministry, the stay period of passengers in retiring rooms has been extended. A statement was issued by the Railway Board saying that the stay of passengers in retiring rooms was extended in super session of the rule that limits the number of days an individual can stay in a station’s retiring room.
5) IRCTC meals for homeless: The official catering arm of Indian Railways, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is providing meals to thousands of destitute and homeless amidst the nationwide lockdown. It was said that the corporation is working towards providing bulk meals to around 3,000-5,000 people at one go, through various IRCTC base stations. As of now, 13 base kitchens of IRCTC have become the nodal points for such food distribution.