COVID-19: Suspension of Railway services to be extended till April 14


File photo:  Deserted railway station during Janta Curfew

File photo: Deserted railway station during Janta Curfew

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown across the country, the Indian Railways on Tuesday said that its suspension of all passenger services will continue till April 14.

However, freight movement will continue to carry essential commodities across the country, officials said.

The railways on Sunday had announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 and said only goods trains will run during the said period amid concerns that coronavirus-infected passengers were spreading the virus further.

The suspensions also included all suburban train services.

The railways said that passengers could claim a full refund for all trains cancelled in this period till June 21.

The IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, also announced that while its onboard services in mail and express trains will be trimmed to packed food like chips, biscuits, tea and coffee, food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan Aahars and cell kitchens will only allow take away.

The Railway Board has issued instructions to all its production units to access feasibility of manufacturing items like simple hospital beds(without mattress), medical trolleys for hospitals and quarantine facilities, IV stands to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The railways has also ordered closure of all rail museums, heritage galleries and heritage parks up to April 15 as a preventive measure to control the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Health Ministry data, the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 519 on Tuesday.