Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, says Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday. This will initially begin with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys).
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Railways, these trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
"Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, 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," the released said.
Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India. Booking in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11th May.https://t.co/DW9I1sPRx6- Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 10, 2020
Booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on May 11 and will be available only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). Ticket booking counters at the railway stations will remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued, the ministry said.
As per the statement, only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course.
Earlier today, Railways minister Piyush Goyal said that the Indian Railways is geared up to run 300 trains a day to ferry stranded migrant labourers to their hometowns. He also urged to states to ensure that the workers reach their destinations across the country in the next three-four days.
As on May 10, 2020, a total of 366 "Shramik Special" trains have been operationalised from various states across the country, in which 287 trains had reached its destination and 79 trains are in transit.
In these Shramik Special Trains, maximum around 1200 passengers can travel observing social distancing. Proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water.
By Chitranjan Kumar