Covid coaches to be used by states when health infrastructure is exhausted: Railways
For national capital Delhi, at least 50 coaches with 800 beds have already been stationed at Shakur Basti railway station.Updated: Jun 15, 2020 18:06 IST
Suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients will be kept in separate Covid Coaches wherever they are allocated, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said on Monday.
The Covid isolation coaches are meant to be used when the health infrastructure of various states gets exhausted due to the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases across the country, he said. The Railways, has so far received a demand for coaches from Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and the Delhi government. The rest of the deployment will be done as and when states demand them, he added.
The isolation coaches will be under the complete care of the chief medical officer of the state government, in the states where they will be deployed.
For national capital Delhi, at least 50 coaches with 800 beds have already been stationed at Shakur Basti railway station.No isolation coaches or beds are in use so far in Delhi.
“Another 500 more such isolation coaches for Covid-19 patients have to be deployed in Delhi and we are finalizing the stations where they can be kept,” Yadav said.
The Railway Board chairman said it is more suitable to use non-AC coaches for isolation purposes of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients. For cooling, wherever required the Railways will provide roof insulation in the coaches, he added.
“Last night we had a request from the Maharashtra state government to run suburban trains. We have allowed the Central and Western Railways to run some trains for essential workers, and e-passes will be issued by the state government for the same,” he said.
Referring to the Shramik Special trains run by the Railways to transport migrants back to their home states, the Railway Board chairman said, “We have transported more than 60 lakh migrants till date. Only a few migrants are left now. We had asked state governments to send us their demand of remaining trains on June 3 and we received a demand for 171 Shramik Special trains from various states.”
“We ended up running 222 Shramik Special trains till June 14. After the Supreme Court’s order we have again sought their need from the state governments to meet the additional demand,” Yadav said.
“The average fare for Shramik Special trains was Rs 600 and around 60 lakh migrants have travelled so the total revenue can be calculated through that. The fare was as per normal mail express trains. The Railways recovered only 15% of the cost of operating Shramik Special trains,” he said.