Coronavirus outbreak: No plan on train service restoration so far

Updated: Apr 07, 2020, 07:51 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Railways clarifies after reports citing restoration of service post-lockdown start making rounds

The empty CSMT during the lockdown. File pic
The empty CSMT during the lockdown. File pic

With the April 14 deadline for lockdown just a week away, the Indian Railways (IR) is playing very cautious and no plans on the restoration of services have been finalised yet. A decision is likely to be taken this week with full measures and protocols to be followed for rail travel.

An official said the railways may possibly use the Aarogya Setu app to check health and wellness of patients, allowing only healthy passengers to board trains.

While the matter was initiated for discussion during a video conference meeting between Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav with all general managers on Friday evening, nothing has been finalised.

Aarogya Setu app screenshot
Aarogya Setu app screenshot

Point 19 of the minutes of the meeting states 'Train services will have to be resumed only on specific approval from each Railway board. Suggestions for phase-wise planning should be given to Railway board.'

So in all likelihood, individual railways will have to come up with suggestions on how the restoration can be possibly rolled out when required.

"Certain reports have come on a post lockdown 'restoration plan' with train details, frequency etc. It is to clarify that no such plan regarding the resumption of passenger services has been issued. All concerned would be duly informed about any further decision in this regard," an Indian Railways (IR) spokesperson said. Since online bookings have not been shut yet, tickets bookings for April 15 are open and available in the IRCTC system. However, the railways clarified that this does not mean that train services will restart from April 15. "A decision on any restoration of passenger trains is yet to be taken," he added.

Aarogya Setu app

The Aarogya Setu app creates your profile based on several questions it asks you. The questions range from your travel history to your current health condition, thereby making it easy for the health officials to keep track. The app also provides details of COVID-19 help centres, if you start feeling any symptoms.

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