Coronavirus update: Stranded passengers can stay at retiring rooms till train services resume
Indian Railways, which carries 23 million passengers every day to their destinations, will run only freight trains carrying essential goods until March 31.Updated: Mar 23, 2020 14:23 IST
Stranded travellers can stay in retiring rooms at stations all across the country, the Indian Railways said on Monday, a day after it suspended all passenger trains until the end of March to stop the spread of Covid-19 contagion that has killed at least seven people and infected more than 400 in India.
The ministry of railways said the relaxation in this norm shall be in force till normal train services resume. The Railway Board has informed all station masters to implement this quickly for the benefit of stranded passengers, the ministry said.
“It has been brought to notice that some passengers who were in retiring rooms and booked to travel by train after a day or two are facing problems as all trains are now cancelled and they have nowhere to go,” the ministry said.
“The Railway Board has decided that in all such cases the stay may be extended in supersession of the rule that limits the number of days a passenger can stay in a retiring room,” it said.
The Centre had on Sunday ordered all passenger train services to be suspended across the country till March 31, widening curbs in an unprecedented lockdown to stop the deadly Sars-Cov-2 infection.
Indian Railways, which carries 23 million passengers every day to their destinations, had also said it will run only freight trains carrying essential goods until March 31.
Suburban railway services have also been stopped from midnight on Sunday till March 31.
Indian Railways had also issued an immediate advisory to those under quarantine to not travel by train after the national carrier found at least 12 cases of passengers flouting self-quarantine norms and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
Passenger train services were already curbed on Sunday in view of the Janata Curfew (people’s curfew) call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who asked citizens to stay at home from 7am-9pm in a television address on Thursday.
The national transporter operates as many as 13,523 trains every day.