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Indian Railways has decided that it will not allow passengers to charge their mobile phones and other electronic devices at night while travelling as a precautionary measure.

This comes after the incidents of fire were reported in some trains.

According to senior railway officials, the decision to stop the facility of charging mobile in trains at night is being a precautionary measure.

A senior railway official claimed that the points used for charging mobile phones and other electronic devices for will be kept switched off from 11 pm till 5 am.

"It is a Railway Board instruction for all railways. We have started implementing it from March 16," CPRO of Western Railway, Sumit Thakur, told PTI.

Southern Railway CPRO B Guganesan told PTI that these instructions are not new, but a reiteration of earlier orders of the Railway Board.

"In view of the recent incidents of fire, we have done the needful. It is a precautionary measure and even earlier the Railway Board had issued such orders. The power from the main switchboard for these points will be switched off from 11 pm to 5 am," Guganesan said.

This comes after recent incidents of fire reported in some trains. According to railway officials, the decision to restrict the use of the charging ports was taken as a precautionary measure.

In a report on the fires, officials suggested that the points used for charging mobile phones and other electronic devices should be switched off at night.

Many incidents of minor fires, reported onboard long-distance trains, were caused due to overcharging of electronic devices, officials said.

Recently a coach of the Dehradun-bound Shatabdi Express caught fire in a suspected case of a short circuit on March 13 and barely six days later, a fire broke out in the engine of a static goods train at the Ranchi station.

"Safety remains the focus area of Railway operations and no one should let the guard down on that front. A thorough review and rechecking of all safety measures in the running of trains needs to be taken up by all concerned," the minister said at a review meeting on "safety measures", according to a statement issued by the railway ministry.

Meanwhile, Indian Railways also decided a slew of initiatives against smoking and carrying inflammable items, which were apparently the cause behind some of the recent fires onboard trains.

The national transporter has instructed zonal railways to initiate an intensive awareness drive of seven days to educate all the stakeholders, including railway users and employees, about precautions to be taken against fire incidents.

Carrying inflammable objects in trains is a punishable offense under Section 164 of the Railways Act and the offender may get imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of 1,000 or both, and a fine of 500 is applicable under Section 165.

The directives come after a slew of fire-related incidents were reported not only from onboard trains, but also at rail premises. These include the blaze in the Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi Express, where an initial probe found a burning cigarette thrown into a toilet dustbin to be the cause of fire.

Another case of a short-circuit reported in the Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani, smoke emanating from the Duronto train from Allahabad Junction to Lokmanyatilak terminal station in Mumbai and other minor fires reported from the premises of coach factories, in garbage dumps and in bushes on railway property.

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