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Railways mulls asking production units to make hospital gear

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 24, 2020 Published on March 24, 2020

Slashes freight rates, assures payment to contract staff

The Indian Railways has asked its production units to explore possibilities to manufacture essential medical items to treat Covid-19 cases.

The Railway Board has asked its production units to explore the feasibility of manufacturing items like simple hospital beds (without mattress), medical trolleys for hospitals and quarantine facilities, intravenous stands, stretchers, hospital footsteps, hospital bedside lockers, washbasins with stands, ventilators, personal protective equipment like masks, sanitisers, water tanks, among others, according to officials.

It has entrusted the task to the General Managers to explore the feasibility in consultation with Chief Medical Officer of the zone and manufacture the items in large quantities, they added.

The Railways’ production units like Chittaranjan Loco Works, Chittaranjan; Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi; and Rail Wheel Factory, Yelehanka, can manufacture essential items that can be utilised to treat people affected by this pandemic.

Meanwhile, as fear of shutdown affected flow of essential commodities, Railways took a slew of steps to prevent possible disruptions. Reaching out to local authorities, lowering some charges in moving goods, and deciding to pay labour contractors were some of them. The Railways also appealed to the local authorities to allow employees to move around if they show their identity card.

To make movement of goods cheaper, the Railways slashed several rates for goods and parcels by half till March 31, apart from extending the present freight rates by a month, and slashed rates on empty container movement. Free time for loading/unloading of wagons and free time for removal of consignment from railway premises has been increased to double of the prescribed free time till March 31. It also announced that labour contractors will be paid by till March 31.

Published on March 24, 2020
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