Alert Rail Passengers: Following State-Wise Rules Must For All; Compulsory RT-PCR Test?
The Indian Railway Ministry, led by Piyush Goyal, has asked passengers to familiarise themselves with the most recent covid guidelines provided by various state governments before their train journey.
The Indian railway ministry has advised passengers to read and review state-issued covid protocols before travelling, as each state has its own set of rules.
Covid-19 Protocols Issued By The State
COVID-19 RT-PCR testing has recently become mandatory for passengers within 72 to 96 hours of train arrival in some states.
The West Bengal government’s Chief Secretary released an order requiring incoming passengers by long-distance train services and also inter-state buses to carry their COVID-19 negative RT-PCR test results. West Bengal also made it mandatory for train passengers arriving in the state to bring their COVID-19 negative RT-PCR report with them last week.
Several Special Train Services Have Been Cancelled
Meanwhile, the Railway Ministry has cancelled many special train services due to an increase in covid incidents. The ministry also had stated that some of these special trains were running with low occupancy.
Therefore, some of the special train services are being discontinued till further advice due to low occupancy as well as other operational reasons.
Death Of Railwaymen
Since last year, the pandemic has claimed the lives of 1,952 Indian Railways employees, also including frontline workers like station masters, and about 1,000 railwaymen are reported affected daily, according to the Railways Ministry.
“As of now, we have 4,000 beds currently occupied by staff and their families. Our effort is to see that they recover quickly. As of yesterday, 1,952 rail employees have died due to Covid-19 since March last year,” said Suneet Sharma, Chairman Railway Board.
“Railway is not different from any other state or territory and we are also getting Covid cases… We have to move freight and people. Around 1,000 cases are reported daily. We have augmented the number of beds, we have built oxygen plant in rail hospitals. We take care of our staff…,” he added.
According to the All Indian Station Masters’ Association, 113 station masters also have died so far in the pandemic, the majority of them in the second wave this year (AISMA). So far, 50 men have died in the Railway Protection Force.
Why did Railway Board demand Special Insurance?
The association also has requested special insurance coverage of Rs 50 lakh for each of them, as well as immediate vaccination of their cadre, in letters to the Railway Board and several rail divisions.
The truncated workforce was required to work overtime as a result of several station masters falling ill, according to the report, because stations cannot be left without station masters.