Passenger trains to halt, goods trains to continue plying: Railways

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on March 22, 2020

Truck drivers head home on fears over corona

All pasenger trains — within and across cities — will come to a standstill till March 31, as the Centre decided to up the crackdown against Covid-19. However, long-distance trains that started their journey before the Janta curfew began can complete their journey.

Movement of people across States using buses has also been barred, said a government release.

The Indian Railways runs about 13,500 trains every day. For all the cancelled trains, the Railways will make a full refund of the fare, without levying any cancellation charge, said an official.

The Railways has extended the time for ticket returns so that passengers do not crowd ticket counters..

All metro and suburban services will also be shut. Delhi Metro announced suspension of its services till March 31 on Sunday afternoon. However, Kolkata Metro Rail services will run till midnight on Sunday (March 2), and will also be stopped thereafter till midnight of March 31, said an official release.

The decisions were announced by the Railways on Sunday. Up to Saturday, several States, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha, had already decided to lock down main cites and stop movement of goods betweeen cities/towns and across State borders.

The Government has, however, decided to keep goods trains running to ensure movement of essential supplies. Sources said that while there will be no problem moving coal by train as the fuel is loaded/unloaded mechanically at ports and power plants, there may be problem in moving cement, foodgrains, or fertilisers, which are manually handled.

Trucks off the road

As the Covid-19 fear gripped the trasnport sector, there ahve been reports of truck drivers stopping work to go home, said Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training’s (IFTRT) Senior Fellow, SP Singh. However, this has not had any visible impact as goods movement has dropped with many factories shutting plants, added Singh.

Published on March 22, 2020

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