Railways to restart passenger trains to select locations from May 12

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In a major relief to people stranded in various parts of the country, the Indian Railways has decided to restart passenger train operations from May 12.

Passenger train operations that remained shut since the lockdown from March 25 will be started gradually with 15 pairs of trains.

The service will initially connect New Delhi to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.

The services from New Delhi to Agartala and Secunderabad will be once a week; from New Delhi to Madgaon, Ranchi, Bilaspur and Chennai twice a week; and to Thiruvananthapuram thrice a week.

The booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on Monday and will be available only on the IRCTC website. Ticket booking counters at railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations.

All coaches in these trains will be AC and the fares similar to those for Rajdhani trains. Tatkal bookings and waitlists will not be allowed. Only those without any Covid-19 symptoms will be allowed to travel. They will be screened at departure, and required to wear a “face cover”.

Further services will be started thereafter based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as Shramik Special for stranded migrants, said a Hindustan Times report.

The decision is considered as a signal to a gradual resumption of normal activities after 47 days of lockdown. Quoting sources, Indian Express said this is a “trial” to get a sense of the demand for inter-state movement, and assess its compatibility with the outbreak containment strategy. The situation may be re-evaluated in about a week or 10 days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to have a video conference later on Monday with chief ministers to gauge their mind about the status of the lockdown and future course of action (with inputs from agencies).

Image Credit: The Indian Express

 

 

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