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70% of trains operational now: Railways

A health worker takes swab samples from a passenger at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Railway Station, amid spike in Covid-19 cases, in Mumbai, on Friday, April 16, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Railway Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma on Friday said 70% of the Indian Railways’ total passenger train services were currently operational, and that no State had yet asked the Railways to stop services amid daily record spikes in COVID-19 cases in the country.

“I assure you that there is no dearth of services, the situation is quite normal...” Mr. Sharma said, replying to a query during a press conference.

The Indian Railways is currently running 1,490 mail and express trains, 5,397 suburban train services, and 947 passenger trains, including MEMU (mainline electric multiple unit), DMU (diesel multiple unit) and EMU (electric multiple unit).

“As of now, no State government has asked us to stop trains. However, whenever there are concerns, the State governments have discussed the issues with us, and where there are containment zones, they are doing random tests and checks,” the Chairman said.

He added that the Railways had put up all details on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, and passengers are provided information on whether they have to undergo tests or carry a COVID-19-negative certificate.

Asked about COVID-19 isolation rail coaches, Mr. Sharma said, “We have 4,000 isolation coaches for COVID-19 at different locations across the country. We have received a demand from Nandurbar in Maharashtra for over 100 coaches and 20 isolation coaches have been provided so far.”

Reiterating that Railways is keeping a close watch on all stations in Mumbai, Gujarat, Karnataka and wherever the demand is high, Zonal General Managers had been authorised to operate more trains, Mr. Sharma said, and to clear the extra rush across the country, the Railways was operating 140 additional trains.

These 140 special trains would make 483 trips in April and May. The Central Railway is operating 85 such services, which will complete 284 trips; the Western Railway is operating 28 trains for 152 trips; the Northern Railway is operating 15 special trains for 19 trips; the East Central Railway is operating two special trains for four trips; the North Eastern Railway is operating nine trains for 14 trips; and the North Central Railway is operating one train for 10 trips.

“The trains are for destinations having high demand, like Gorakhpur, Patna, Darbhanga, Varanasi, Guwahati, Manduadih, Barauni, Prayagraj, Bokaro, Ranchi, Lucknow, Kolkatta, Bhagalpur,” he added.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:54:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/70-of-indian-railways-total-passenger-train-services-currently-operational/article34336168.ece

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