Amid rising covid-19 cases, some states have asked Indian Railways to cancel some passenger trains. Railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav on Monday said that states such as Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal have asked the national transporter to cancel trains, reduce frequency or cancel stoppages.
“We have been getting requests from state governments for cancellation of trains, for reducing frequency and cancelling stoppages, depending on covid-19 situation," Yadav said in an online briefing.
“That’s why we have not been able to announce new trains," he said.
On June 26, Yadav has said that the national transporter is monitoring the situation closely and will soon run some more special trains. Towards this, occupancy in the trains, demand from and the status of the spread of coronavirus across the country will be key determinants for running more trains in the future. There are signs of reverse migration, with ticket bookings from small towns to urban areas, an indication that economic activity is picking up, he had said.
However, with the rising number of covid-19 cases, the situation changed in the last few days. Tamil Nadu had requested Indian Railways to cancel seven trains running within the state from 29 June 29 to 15 July, West Bengal has requested to reduce frequency of five trains reaching the state. Similarly, Odisha has requested the national transporter to cancel some stoppages, while on Thursday Jharkhand also sent a request to cancel two trains as they were crossing cities badly affected by covid-19.
“We are running these trains so that essential travel services can we met. At the same time we are also monitoring the covid situation and we are constantly in touch with the states," Yadav said.
India reported a total of 7,93,802 confirmed covid-19 cases, official data showed. The total number of new cases added in the past 24 hours has reached 26,506. The number of new deaths reported in the same period is 475. The total number of deaths reported in the country is now 21,604.
States such as Uttar Pradesh and cities such as Pune have decided to extend the lockdown to break the chain of transmission of covid-19 cases.