New Delhi: To check the spread of coronavirus, the Indian Railways on Saturday (April 17, 2021) released new COVID-19 guidelines. As per the new guidelines, a passenger may now be fined if they are found doing two things on the railway premises.
Now, if a passenger is found spitting on the railway premises or not wearing a face mask, he/she will be fined up to Rs 500.
"Railways may take action with immediate effect for a period of six months till further instructions are issued in this regard," the official circular read.
The Ministry of Railways said that the passenger will be fined under Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railways Premises) Rules, 2012.
The announcement comes on a day when record 2.34 lakh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours took India's active count to 16.79 lakh. According to the Union Health Ministry on Saturday morning, the country's total coronavirus caseload soared to 1.45 crore after there were 2,34,692 new COVID-19 cases, along with 1,341 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Recently, the Railway Board chairman Suneet Sharma stated that there's no need for a COVID-19 negative certificate to travel by train. Besides this, the passengers also have to follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines and protocols that have been issued by the Centre and state governments.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and related hygiene issues, the Indian Railways had also stopped service of cooked food and replaced the same with Ready to Eat (RTE) meals in trains.
The COVID-19 related protective items such as masks, sanitisers, gloves etc. and takeaway bedroll kits/items, have been made available for sale through Multi-Purpose Stalls at Stations.
RPF exhorting passengers arriving to board special train at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus to follow COVID19 appropriate behaviours through awareness messages. 13.10 hrs pic.twitter.com/CcGb04m1aV
— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) April 9, 2021
No plan to stop or curtail train services
The Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma had recently stated that there is no plan to curtail or stop train services. He also assured the passengers that there is no dearth of trains and that the railways is ready to put them into service on short notice.
"There is no plan to curtail or stop train services. We will run as many services as required. There is no cause for alarm. We can run trains immediately on demand if there is any rush. This rush is normal during the summer season and we have already announced trains to clear the rush," PTI news agency quoted Sharma as saying.
1402 specials train services running on an average per day
The Indian Railways on April 9 said that they are presently running a total of 1402 specials train services on an average per day. A total of 5381 Suburban train services and 830 Passenger train services are also operational. Apart from this, the Railways stated that there are 28 special trains being operated as clones of highly patronized trains with high patronage.
It informed that additional trains are also being run during April-May 2021 to clear rush in Central Railway with 58 trains (29 pairs) and Western Railway with 60 trains (30 pairs). These trains are for destinations having high demand like Gorakhpur, Patna, Darbhanga, Varanasi, Guwahati, Barauni, Prayagraj, Bokaro, Ranchi and Lucknow etc.
(With inputs from news agencies)