Even though all the passenger train services on the Indian Railways network have been cancelled, the top authorities of the national transporter met recently in order to explore ways to utilise their resources against the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Indian Railways gears up to fight Coronavirus! As part of its preparedness to control the spread of novel Coronavirus infection, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is planning to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) on a large scale after procuring raw materials. Also, the national transporter is looking to explore manufacturing ventilators as well as train its medical staff to add to overall capability in order to fight the COVID 19 outbreak, according to an IE report. As part of a trial run, Indian Railways has also manufactured hand sanitizers at a low scale. Even though all the passenger train services on the Indian Railways network have been cancelled, the top authorities of the national transporter met recently in order to explore ways to utilise their resources against the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
According to a senior railway official quoted in the report, the national transporter has already made its own hand sanitizers and masks. Even though the masks are not N95 masks, but they are good enough for basic protection, he said. Indian Railways’ Northern Railway carriage and wagons department, located in Firozpur along with chemicals and metallurgical unit officials manufactured hand sanitizers at a cost of Rs 310 per litre. According to the report, the product carries brand name: “IR”. Earlier, the national transporter was procuring hand sanitiser at a cost of Rs 190 per 100 ml.
At present, Indian Railways is busy getting all the rakes of the stopped train services back to their base depots. More than 600 empty rakes are scattered across the country. The report also said that the onboard staff of Indian Railways who have been left far away from their home bases when trains were operational have been instructed to use the empty rakes and return home.
The Railway Ministry cancelled all the passenger train services in the wake of COVID 19 outbreak. The train services including Premium trains, Express or Mail trains, Konkan Railways, Suburban trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, etc. will be cancelled till the 2400 hours of 31 March 2020. However, goods trains will continue to operate.