Coronavirus | Amid surge in cases, no plan to stop train services: Railway Board chief

iPassengers wait to board a train in Amritsar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Trying to allay fears amid the second wave of COVID-19, the Indian Railways on Friday said it did not plan to stop train services and would continue running them as per demand.

“There is no plan to curtail or stop train services. We will run as many services as required. There is no cause for alarm. We can run trains immediately on demand if there is any rush. This rush is normal during the summer season and we have already announced trains to clear the rush,” Railway Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma said.

Presently, the Indian Railways is running 1,402 special services on an average per day, in addition to 5,381 suburban services and 830 passenger train services.

Mr. Sharma said additional trains would be run during April and May to clear rush — in Central Railway 58 trains and Western Railway 60 trains. These trains are for destinations having high demand such as Gorakhpur, Patna, Darbhanga, Varanasi, Guwahati, Barauni, Prayagraj, Bokaro, Ranchi and Lucknow.

The clarification comes amid fears over stopping of passenger train operations as India is seeing over a lakh new daily cases — similar to what was done in March 2020.

He also clarified that there was no overcrowding at stations as mentioned in some of the reports and videos doing the rounds on social media.

“There is no shortage of trains for those who want to travel. I assure everyone that trains will be provided on demand,” Mr. Sharma said, while also ruling out the need for a COVID-negative test certificate to travel by train.

The Chairman added that the Railways had not received any request from Maharashtra, one of the worst impacted States due to the pandemic, to curtail the movement of trains.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 1:09:40 AM |

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