The Central Railways was operating 16 AC local trains, but amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus infection, the local train services will be stopped starting from March 20, 2020 till March 31, 2020.
Coronavirus outbreak in India: In a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus infection in local train services, the Central Railway and Western Railway zones of the Indian Railways network have announced cancelling AC local train services in the state of Maharashtra. The Central Railways was operating 16 AC local trains, but amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus infection, the local train services will be stopped starting from March 20, 2020 till March 31, 2020. The 16 AC local suburban train services operating on the trans harbour line, namely, Thane-Vashi/Panvel/Nerul have been cancelled by the zone. The Western Railway zone also operates 12 AC local train services, which are cancelled till further notice.
Apart from these, Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry has taken several precautionary measures in order to prevent the spread of the infection on the national transporter’s network. For the prevention, the railway zones have been directed for the cleaning and sanitising of all Mumbai local trains. The trains are being disinfected from the exteriors on a regular basis. The disinfectants are being sprayed in trains interiors to completely sanitise the passenger seats, hand railings, grab handles in coaches.
Apart from the trains, the sanitisation process is also being conducted at the stations of the suburban network across Maharashtra. The direct contact areas at stations such as escalators, lift buttons, railings, platform seats, ticket vending machines, ATM’s are also being sanitised regularly. The housekeeping staff have been provided with protective gear to protect themselves from catching any infection during working hours.
Apart from these steps, a major change was brought in recently, to be followed across the Indian Railways network. The DRM’s or divisional railway managers of all railway zones were directed to increase the charges of platform ticket costs to a maximum of Rs 50. This step was taken to discourage the gathering of a large number of people at railway premises such as platforms, foot over bridges, ticket counters etc. The Central Railways zone has increased the cost of platform tickets from Rs 10 to Rs 50 at 174 railway stations. The Western Railways zone has also increased the charge to Rs 50 at its major railway divisions such as Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Ratlam, Bhavnagar.