On Wednesday, 696 suburban train services resumed after remaining suspended for nearly eight months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Indian Railways to run more local trains in West Bengal! After seeing the huge demand for local train services on Day 1 on Wednesday, the national transporter has decided to increase local trains in Sealdah and Howrah divisions. On Wednesday, 696 suburban train services resumed after remaining suspended for nearly eight months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Large crowds were seen during office hours at almost all platforms in Sealdah and Howrah divisions. On Thursday, a meeting was held by officials of the state government, Eastern Railway zone and South-Eastern Railway zone. According to an IE report, in the meeting, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Home Secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi were also present, during which the national transporter agreed with the West Bengal government’s proposal to increase local train services during office hours.
According to Bandyopadhyay, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was 30 lakh passengers daily. On Wednesday when the local train services resumed, the number was 10 lakh. This is still a substantial figure and the security staff had a tough task in maintaining coronavirus protocol on the trains. A senior Railways official was quoted in the report saying that, on Wednesday, 75% of the total trains ran. But after taking note of the crowd, Indian Railways decided to increase the services to 100% from Friday.
Recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on his Twitter handle that Indian Railways has decided to run as many as 696 suburban train services in the state of West Bengal from Wednesday onwards, ensuring safe and convenient passenger movement. Besides, the Eastern Railway zone has urged all passengers to follow COVID-19 guidelines strictly. South Eastern Railway officials have also said necessary arrangements were made to sanitize train coaches daily in order to ensure passengers’ safety. According to sources quoted in the report, railway and civil forces have also been deployed to monitor passengers’ movements.