The Indian Railways has begun planning for phased resumption of its passenger trains from April 15. All the 17 zonal railways have been asked to come up with a phase-wise plan to resume their respected services.
The train services were suspended in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 25.
Centre's nod awaited
Even though the railways have told all safety personnel, running staff, guards, TTE and other officials to be prepared to come to work post the lockdown, a green signal is awaited on the matter by the government.
A Group of Ministers (GoM) has been formed by the Centre to take a final call on the restoration of train services across the country. However, senior railway officials have said that no fresh orders are required for resuming services as the trains were only suspended until the lockdown.
The railways have issued it zones the schedule of the trains that will be run, their frequency and the availability of rakes. Sources say that almost 80 per cent of trains are likely to be back on the tracks from April 15. These include Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto trains along with the local trains.
India in the second week of COVID-19 lockdown
The fight against the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 has intensified as India has entered the second week of its 21-day lockdown. PM Modi, in a meeting with Chief Ministers of various states, hinted that there is no plan to extend the lockdown as of now.
COVID-19 positive cases have seen a sharp spike over the last few days across the country and the total count is about to cross the 3000-mark. The death toll has gone past 60 whereas over 100 patients have recovered.
The railways has extended a helping hand in times of crisis as it is converting train coaches into isolation wards to make sure there is no scarcity of quarantine facilities in the coming days.
Besides, it has also manufactured as many as 2.6 lakh face masks and 25,000 litres of sanitizer to combat the pandemic.