Hundreds of soldiers to take special trains for border duty amid lockdown
The Centre has given its nod for the running of two special trains to be deployed for the Indian Army personnel citing national security consideration, according to officials aware of the development.
Two special trains are scheduled to run on Friday and Saturday (April 17 and 18).
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved the running of two special trains for security forces, the officials said. “The MHA authorities have given their nod for deploying two special trains for security forces,” a senior official said requesting anonymity.
To meet the operational requirements for Northern and Eastern borders, two military special trains are planned to be run. These are: Bangalore - Belgaum- Secunderabad - Ambala- Jammu on 17 April 20. And Bangalore - Belgaum- Secunderabad - Gopalpur - Howrah - NJP - Guwahati on 18 April 20,” the official said.
“This will enable decongestion of Category A and B training establishments at Bangalore, Belgaum, Secundrabad & Gopalpur as well assist in op preparedness of active formations deployed in the borders. Only personnel due to rejoin units deployed in northern and eastern borders and have undergone mandatory Quarantine period/ found medically fit will be accommodated. Further coordination with Ministry of Railways is in progress for planning additional trains in coming weeks.”he added.
Hundreds of soldiers, who have finished their training at key centres such as Bengaluru, Secunderabad, Gopalpur and Belgaum, need to be moved for their deployment.
“Only personnel due to rejoin units deployed in northern and eastern borders and have undergone mandatory quarantine period/found medically fit will be accommodated. Further coordination with the Ministry of Railways is in progress for planning additional trains in coming weeks,” the official said.
All passenger train services and domestic and international flights have been suspended since the nationwide 21-day lockdown came into effect from March 25 and further extended by another 19 days till May 3 to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The Indian Railways is only running freight and parcel trains for an uninterrupted supply of essential goods.