Indian Railways suburban train services in West Bengal to resume from November 11

By: |
November 6, 2020 11:07 AM

Both Sealdah and Howrah in pre-Covid situation ran 915 and 407 trains, up and down respectively, which carried above 10 lakh passengers a day.

Banerjee said both the state and the Railways have agreed to prepare a draft SOP but that will be prepared after both carry out a survey in different stations.Banerjee said both the state and the Railways have agreed to prepare a draft SOP but that will be prepared after both carry out a survey in different stations.

Suburban railway services in West Bengal will resume from November 11, which is expected to give much-needed relief to daily commuters travelling from various corners of districts to Kolkata.

The Railways and the West Bengal government, in a meeting on Thursday, decided that 181 pairs of local trains or 362 up and down trains will run daily in the Howrah and Sealdah sections, though the state is yet to decide on the the schedules for the trains to run.

Alapan Banerjee, West Bengal’s chief secretary, said the trains will run at 50% capacity, which means a local train will carry half of the passengers that can be seated in a train. Number of boggles, which are generally 9 and 12 may be altered but the Railways and the state will finalise after they come to a decision on a standard operating procedure (SOP), likely to be taken on Monday.

While the Howrah section, under the Eastern Railway, will initially run 50 pairs of local trains, or 100 trains up and down. The Sealdah section will run 114 pairs of local trains or 228 trains up and down. The rest of the 181 pairs will run between stations barring Howrah and Sealdah since most of the trains running from the said stations will be galloping.

Both Sealdah and Howrah in pre-Covid situation ran 915 and 407 trains, up and down respectively, which carried above 10 lakh passengers a day.

Banerjee said both the state and the Railways have agreed to prepare a draft SOP but that will be prepared after both carry out a survey in different stations.

Every passenger will have to enter and leave the stations through fixed entrance and exit with thermal screening to be made mandatory for every passenger. While GRP will take the responsibility of the gates, RPF will be posted in boggies to ensure that passéngers maintain social distancing and abide by the safety regulations issued by the Railways.

But running trains in such circumstances will need coordination of both the railway police and the state police, Banerjee said.

Although many passéngers breathed a sigh of relief but most of them are of the opinion running less number of trains will only aggravate the Covid as controlling commuters will be a tough affair. The railways, post Covid, has been running trains exclusively for railway employees and general passengers have been staging protests in demand for resuming operations for normal commuters.

The railway authorities and the state government have been holding meetings since Monday.

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