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A railways worker disinfects a train carrying migrant workers to their home states, in Gauhati, India, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Rural villages across India are seeing an increase in cases with the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns where they were abandoned by their employers after having toiled for years building homes and roads. India sees no respite from the coronavirus caseload at a time when the two-month-old lockdown across the country is set to end on Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) (AP)
A railways worker disinfects a train carrying migrant workers to their home states, in Gauhati, India, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Rural villages across India are seeing an increase in cases with the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns where they were abandoned by their employers after having toiled for years building homes and roads. India sees no respite from the coronavirus caseload at a time when the two-month-old lockdown across the country is set to end on Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) (AP)

Travelling during festive season? Indian Railways issues guidelines to curb Covid-19 spread

  • 'Since the acts or omissions are likely to aid in the spread of virus, they will tantamount to interference with passenger amenities provided by the railway administration'
  • Earlier, the Ministry of Railways approved Zonal Railways' proposal for operation of additional 196 pairs (392 trains) of Festival Special trains

As the festive season approaches, Indian Railways' Railway Protection Force has issued guidelines for travellers as the festive season is approaching.

The general public is counselled to desist from the following acts or omission while being in railway stations, trains or other railway area:

1) Not wearing a mask or wearing a mask improperly.

2) Not maintaining social distancing.

3) Coming to railway area or station or boarding a train after having declared Covid Positive.

4) Coming to railway area or station or boarding a train after giving samples for testing of corona virus and awaiting result.

5) Boarding a train after having been denied to undertake travel by the health check up team at the railway station.

6) Spitting or wilful ejection of body fluid/waste in public area.

7) Activities which may create unclean or unhygienic conditions or affect public health and safety in railway stations and trains.

8) Not adhering to any of the guidelines issued by Railway administration for prevention of spread of corona virus.

9) Any other act or omission likely to aid in spread of corona virus.

"Since these acts or omissions are likely to aid in the spread of coronavirus, they will tantamount to interference with passenger amenities provided by the railway administration, wilful omission or neglect endangering or causing to be endangered the safety of any person or rash and negligent act or omission likely to endanger the safety of any person travelling or being upon any railway and may be punished with imprisonment and/or fine under section 145, 153 and 154 of Railway Act 1989," the ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Railways approved Zonal Railways' proposal for operation of additional 196 pairs (392 trains) of Festival Special trains. The trains will be operated between 20 October to 30 November.

The fare applicable for these services will be that of the earlier special trains allowed to run by the ministry, said Indian Railways. The timing of these trains will be as per regular trains.

Zonal Railways will notify their schedule well in advance, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said in a statement that the decision was taken as Indian Railways is expecting a rush of passengers during the upcoming festive season. These special trains will run for destinations such as Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi and Lucknow among others, to cater to the demand during Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhatt puja, it said.

These new festival special trains, however, will operate only till November 30 and will not have a continued run, officials said.

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