Hyderabad: The ministry of Home affairs (MHA), on 11 May, issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for the movement of people by trains and directed the Railways to ensure that only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to travel.
The MHA directed the ministry of Railways to ensure that all passengers are screened before they are allowed to board the train. All passengers shall be provided with hand sanitisers at all entry and exit points of the station and in the coaches. Further, all passengers should wear face masks or covers while entering the station and during the travel. All passengers will have to observe social distancing while boarding and during the travel, the ministry said. On arrival, passengers will have to adhere to health protocols as prescribed by the destination states.
The SOP states that the movement of trains shall be permitted by the Indian Railways in a graded manner and in consultation with the ministry of health and family welfare and the MHA. Train schedule, protocols for booking, entry, and movement of passengers, and coach service specifications shall be widely publicised, it said. The movement of passengers as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passengers to and from the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.
Indian Railways has decided to resume passenger train services from 12 May. “The Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12 May, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys),” it said in a statement released late on Sunday. Booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 p.m on 11 May and will be available only on the IRCTC website https://www.irctc.co.in/
According to the Railways, these trains will run as special trains from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, and Jammu Tawi.