Report 90 minutes in advance and other rules as limited trains start tomorrow
Those travelling are also encouraged to carry their own food, download the Aarogya Setu App for tracking their health parameters and observe social distancing both at the station and on trains, the guidelines said.Updated: May 11, 2020 21:35 IST
Passengers will have to report to the railway station 90 minutes in advance, wear masks and carry their own linen, according to guidelines issued by the Centre on Monday as limited special passenger trains begin their run tomorrow.
Those travelling are also encouraged to carry their own food, download the Aarogya Setu App for tracking their health parameters and observe social distancing both at the station and on trains, the guidelines said. Railway officials, however, clarified that the AC coaches will run on full capacity.
“Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled. However, the IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis. Information to this effect shall be made available to passengers during the time of booking a ticket. Passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. Dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water shall be provided on demand, inside the trains on payment basis,” the guidelines said.
Only confirmed e-tickets shall be booked. Booking of RAC/Waiting list tickets and on board booking by ticket checking staff will not be permitted. Current booking, tatkal and premium tatkal booking shall not be permitted. No unreserved tickets (UTS) shall be permitted, it clarified. No catering charges will be included in the fare.
Passengers will also be allowed to travel to the station in their vehicles if they are carrying their confirmed ticket. “For movement of the passenger(s) as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passenger(s) to and fro the Railway Station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket,” added the guidelines.
Upon arrival at their destination, they may have to go into quarantine as per the prescribed protocols. “On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/UT,” the home ministry said in its order.
The railways will resume passenger services gradually with trains to 15 destinations from Tuesday, the government announced on Sunday, green-lighting the operations close to two months after it stopped them as part of a strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Ministry of Railways (MoR) in consultation with Ministry of Health & Family welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has decided that train services on Indian Railways shall be partially restored from May 12 in a graded manner,” the ministry said.
Bookings for these trains — all originating from the New Delhi Railway Station — was scheduled to begin at 4pm on Monday only on the website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), while ticket counters will continue to remain closed.
Earlier this evening, shortly after the online bookings for tickets opened at 4 pm, the railways’ ticketing website Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), burdened by the load, crashed in no time, delaying the booking by two hours. Expressing regret, the railways said “bookings will be available shortly”. The tickets went on sale again at 6pm.
“Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website. Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted,” the railway ministry had tweeted.
These special trains which have been started presently, will have only air-conditioned classes i.e. First, Second & Third AC, the railways said. The fare structure for the ‘Special Trains’ shall be as applicable for the Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges.
Passengers can book their tickets only through the online portals of IRCTC, the railways said, adding that the maximum advance reservation period of tickets cannot exceed seven days.
Online cancellation will be permitted only 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train while cancellation charge shall be 50% of the fare.
“Zonal Railways have been instructed to ensure that there are separate entry and exit gates at Railway stations to the extent feasible so that there is no face to face movement of passengers. Zonal railways will be guided by standard social distancing guidelines on stations and trains and observe the safety, security and hygiene protocols. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. The temperature inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose,” the guidelines said.
No stalls or booths on the platforms shall be opened. No train side vending would be permitted, the guidelines also advised passengers to “travel light.”
These trains will run to Dibrugarh (Assam), Agartala (Tripura), Howrah (West Bengal), Patna (Bihar), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Secunderabad (Telangana), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Madgaon (Goa), Mumbai Central (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Jammu Tawi (Jammu and Kashmir). The railway ministry has also issued a detailed time table with a list of stoppages along these routes.
Passenger flight and rail services as well as operations of metro trains have been suspended since March 22, three days before the first phase of a national lockdown was imposed.
The first train scheduled to depart on Tuesday is from New Delhi to Bilaspur at 4 pm.