Home >News >India >Coronavirus: PM Modi urges people not to rush to villages, avoid crowding trains
A migrant worker tries to board an overcrowded passenger train from an emergency window, after government imposed restrictions on public gatherings in attempts to prevent spread of coronavirus in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)
A migrant worker tries to board an overcrowded passenger train from an emergency window, after government imposed restrictions on public gatherings in attempts to prevent spread of coronavirus in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)

Coronavirus: PM Modi urges people not to rush to villages, avoid crowding trains

  • 'Please worry about yourself and your family, do not leave your house if it is not necessary,' Modi said in a tweet
  • Modi's appeal comes a day before 'Janta Curfew' on Sunday

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a fresh appeal to the citizens to avoid travelling and thereby crowding railway stations and bus stands, in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus or Covid-19.

He urged everyone to remain in the same city, where they are residing, amid several people rushing to railway stations and bus stands to reach their respective hometowns ahead of a day-long 'Janta Curfew; in the country.

“I pray that the city you are in, please stay there for a few days. With this, all of us can stop the disease from spreading. We are playing with our health by crowding railway stations and bus stands. Please worry about yourself and your family, do not leave your house if it is not necessary," Modi said in a tweet.

“Fearing corona, many of my brothers and sisters are returning to their villages. Traveling in congestion increases the risk of its spread. Wherever you are going, it will also be a danger to people. Will also increase the difficulties of your village and family," he said.

Coronavirus cases have increased to 283 in India, including four, who have died. On Thursday evening, Modi called for a people’s curfew on Sunday in a drastic step by his administration to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases. In an address to the nation, he asked citizens to voluntarily stay indoors from 7am till 9pm.

Earlier during the day, railway ministry said that it has found some coronavirus infected passengers in trains, which is making train travel risky.

“Avoid train travel, as you may get infected if your co-passenger has coronavirus. Postpone all your journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe," it said in a tweet.

The national transporter has regulated trains services on 22 March. All passenger trains originating between midnight of 22 March to 11 pm of 22 March will be cancelled, suburban services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderbad will be reduced to bare minimum level on Sunday. Besides, all long-distance and intercity trains, including premium trains originating between 4 am and 10 pm will be cancelled.

In order to ensure avoidance of crowded places and practice social distancing, the national transporter on Saturday relaxed refund rules for passenger reservation system (PRS) counter generated tickets as a special case.

“All rules for e-ticket remain same as passenger does not need to come to station for refund of ticket. This relaxation is for 3 months journey period i.e from 21st March - 21st June 2020," the ministry said.

For trains cancelled by railways for the journey period between 21 March and 21 June, 2020, refund across the counter can be taken on submission of ticket upto three months from date of journey, instead of the existing 72 hours, excluding day of journey.

“When the train is NOT cancelled but passenger does not want to perform journey: TDR ( Ticket Deposit Receipt) can be filed within 3 months from date of journey at the station. (Instead of extant rule of 3 days). TDR can be submitted to CCO (Chief claims officer)/ CCM (Chief commercial manager), refund/claims office for getting the refund with 60 days of filing of TDR subject to verification from the train chart. (Instead of extant rule of 10 days)," the ministry said.

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