As the passenger trains resumed limited operations after seven long weeks of nationwide lockdown, the Ministry of Railways on Tuesday dedicated a poem for the crucial service that connects all corners of the country.
The poem, shared on Twitter in Hindi, highlighted that Railways have never stopped its operations even during emergencies or war-like situations. But as the COVID-19 outbreak gripped the nation, Indian Railways suspended all operations to curb the spread of the deadly infection. The ministry said the Indian Railways is ready to serve the countrymen and reunite people with their loved ones during this period of crisis.
ना आपातकाल में रुकी थी,— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 12, 2020
ना युद्धकाल में थमी हूँ !
सावधानी थी समय की माँग,
उसे पूरा करने में जुटीं हूँ !
देशवासियों की सेवा में,
स्टेशन पर तैयार खड़ी हूँ !
मैं भारत की जीवन रेखा,
करने देश की सेवा,
फिर से अपनों को अपनों से मिलाने,
आज फिर से चल पड़ी हूँ !
भारतीय रेल ! pic.twitter.com/YaKMW4H61S
In a major announcement, the Indian Railways said it plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). 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.
In a statement, the Ministry of Railways said the state-run transporter shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centers and an adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as 'Shramik Special' for stranded migrants.
Booking for reservation on these trains started at 4 pm on Monday and is available only on the IRCTC website. However, ticket booking counters at the railway stations remain shut and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) are being issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets are allowed to enter the railway stations.