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Indian Railways restarts special passenger train services; Home Ministry issues guidelines

Newdelhi:12/5/20:    Indian Railways has restarted special passenger train services today. Initially, 15 pairs of trains are being run with passengers on board.

These trains are being 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.

All these special trains have only first, second and third air-condition classes. The fare structure for the these trains is similar to the regular timetabled Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges. Reservation for these trains will be available only on the IRCTC website as data regarding the special trains are being incorporated in the system. Ticket booking counters at the Railway Stations will remain closed and counter tickets will not be issued. No catering charges will be included in the fare. Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering is been disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis.

The Ministry said passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. Current booking, Tatkal and Premium Tatkal booking shall not be permitted. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the Railway Stations. Passengers will have to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

The passengers will have to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. Online cancellation will be permitted up to 24 hours before scheduled departure of train. No cancellation permitted less than 24 hrs before departure of train. Cancellation charge shall be 50 percent of the fare. The Ministry has advised all the passengers to download and use the Aarogya Setu App. No Linen, blankets and curtains will be provided inside the train. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. As per MHA guidelines the movement of the passenger, as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passenger to and fro the Railway Station, will be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.

All passenger train services were suspended due to lockdown announced on 25th of March.

After the resumption of these 15 services, Railways will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20 thousand coaches for COVID-19 Care Centres and an adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as Shramik Special for stranded migrants.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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