Amidst the second wave of Covid infections, the Centre has instructed state governments to intensify restrictions around crowd gathering, movement of people, wearing masks and increasing Covid testings and vaccinations across the country.
In a virtual interaction on April 9, the Railway Board chairperson Suneet Sharma clarified that the Indian Railways will not be suspending or curtailing their services amid the increasing Covid cases around the country.
At the same time, Sharma has also assured to increase the number of trains when requested to or required.
Trains to Not Stop Due to Increasing Cases
The number of active Covid cases is increasing meteorically across the country, with 1,31,968 new COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours. This number is the highest ever daily record of new COVID-19 cases in the country since the pandemic started.
Consequently, state governments are imposing restrictions like night curfew and weekend lockdown in the worst-hit states of the country.
Amid the inclining cases, the railway board chairman has cleared the air of uncertainty around the government’s plans of continued operations of the Indian Railways.
Sharma commented that the Indian Railways currently has no plans to stop/suspend train services, amid increasing cases across the country.
Covid-Negative Certificate Not Required for Train Passengers
While Sharma assured that there would be no effect on the services provided by the Indian Railways, he also clarified that in cases of an increased crowding in trains, the government body will increase the number of trains, as per request and requirement.
“Crowds seen at railway stations is a result of a normal surge seen during these months, wherever there is a surge in demand we will increase trains. There is no shortage of trains for those who want to travel. I assure everyone that trains will be provided on demand wherever the need arises,” he added.
The Railway board Chairman also mentioned that given the huge number of passengers, they will not be asking for a Covid negative certificate from passengers.
Railways on MH and Rumours on Mass Movements
At the virtual interaction yesterday, Sharma informed that the Railways had not received any request from the state government to curb train services, including those of suburban trains, as Maharashtra is the worst hit state of increasing infections.
Furthermore, Railways stopped the sale of platform tickets at 6 long-distance train stations, including Mumbai CSMT yesterday, to avoid mass crowding of passengers.
Trak.in had informed you of the Railways’ decision of not imposing any changes in either the (local) train timings or slots for general public, on account of rising Covid cases in Mumbai.
With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, a sudden surge in passenger movement at railway stations was reported from across the country.
Many travellers, speaking to the media, said the fear of an imminent lockdown was the reason behind their trips.