Indian Railways is planning to introduce ‘mega blocks’ on Sundays which, while making the duration of journeys longer, will help fast-track safety-related works on tracks and develop infrastructure. A ‘block’ is a time frame required to carry out repair work during which a section of the track needs to be cleared and no train should be allowed to run at that time. A new time table for running of trains will be come into effect from August 15, 2018, which will incorporate the time required for maintenance, said minister for railways and coal Piyush Goyal. While mega blocks on Sundays will be provided for 5-6 hours depending on the railway section, smaller slots of around 2 hours will also be provided on other days. However, if the blocks affect trains during meal hours on Sundays, railway arm IRCTC will provide free water and food to passengers in the reserved categories. The railways is still to figure out how to provide the facility to passengers in non-reserved categories as it would be difficult to ascertain the number of passengers, said Goyal. Besides advertising notices, the information about the scheduled blocks will be sent through mobile text messages to the reserved category passengers. However, unscheduled blocks for emergency works will be allotted on demand and given priority. “We have decided to draw a new time table to provide blocks in a planned manner. Infrastructure development will be carried out during the blocks,” said Goyal.