Indian Railways on Sunday announced its plan of gradual restarting of passenger train operations from May 12 initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi on Monday speaking to Republic TV's Suyesha Savant explained in detail about the guidelines under which these 'special trains' will operate
MoS Angadi said, "Under the new guidelines, 15 pairs of trains will operate. People will have to book the tickets from IRCTC website and while travelling, they will have to maintain social distancing, as per the Home Ministry and Health Ministry guidelines. We have resumed the services so that the people can utilise them. All train coaches will be totally air-conditioned and people with only a reserved ticket will be allowed to travel."
He added that people should not come to railway stations and encourage a gathering. All the passengers travelling will be screened at the Railway Stations as per the guidelines. Suresh Angadi stated that the states should take care of the people/passengers who will reach their respective destinations after boarding the train from New Delhi.
Speaking about these trains, Suresh Angadi said, "These special trains are like Rajdhani Express and the ticket fares will be similar to that only. These journeys will not be the same as it used to be before the Coronavirus crisis. All the details about the journeys will be out by the afternoon. The passengers also should take responsibilities for their health while travelling. I want to salute the Railway employees too for providing all the facilities apart from working 24/7 for the people of the country."
The Minister stated that after these 15 trains will operate, a decision on the future implementation will be taken taking into consideration the number of tickets booked for these journeys and how well the model is implemented.
Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of trains— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 10, 2020
These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting 15 important cities of the countryhttps://t.co/tOvEFT1C8Z pic.twitter.com/dvdxKaxshM
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, the government said in a statement on Sunday.
The railways suspended passengers and sub-urban railways services on March 23. It halted the operation of over 13,500 trains across the country to fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The railways also stopped the booking of tickets.
(With agency inputs)