BENGALURU: The first intra-state train service between Bengaluru and Belagavi commenced on Friday in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions in Karnataka.
The train will ferry at least 350 passengers from Bengaluru to a district that borders Maharashtra - the state worst hit by covid-19.
The tri-weekly train service is among the public transport facilities that the B.S.Yediyurappa-led government has allowed within the state after nearly two months of the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The easing of curbs, however, has been accompanied by a sharp rise in covid-19 cases in Karnataka.
A total of 563 cases have been reported in the past five days, taking the state's tally to 1,080. The state government says that most of those who have tested positive over the past few days are those who have returned from other states.
Since Tuesday, over 2.2 lakh people have travelled in public buses between districts in the state adding to fear that they could be carriers of the novel coronavirus since most checkposts only screen for temperature.
In Karnataka, 28 of 30 district have recorded covid-19 cases.
The state government has restricted entry of people from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, among the worst affected in the country.