Amid Rush For Train Travel More Than 1.6 Lakh Passengers Book Seats On 30 AC Specials

by Arun Kumar Das - May 13, 2020 02:50 PM +05:30 IST
Amid Rush For Train Travel More Than 1.6 Lakh Passengers Book Seats On 30 AC Specials Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Train starts running (PIB/Twitter) 
Snapshot
  • Almost all trains are booked for a week with more than 1.6 lakh passengers booking their seats on AC specials.

Amid a tremendous rush for train journey, more than 1.6 lakh passengers have booked their seats on all 30 AC special service for the next seven days.

Besides, continuing with the home-bound journey, about 6.8 lakh stranded migrants boarded on 600 Shramik Special trains to various parts of the country in the biggest ever evacuation exercise carried out by Indian Railways so far.

According to railways, 90,331 tickets were booked for 169,039 passengers until Tuesday evening for AC special trains.

In an unprecedented demand, after a 50-day hiatus, nearly 8,000 passengers boarded the first eight special trains, which started their journey from six different stations on Tuesday (12 May) while another nine special trains will start from the originating stations on Wednesday (13 May).

“Almost all trains are booked for a week and on an average each of them will accommodate between 850 and 1,200 passengers. In a week, the railways will be ferrying more than 1.6 lakh passengers,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.

The maximum booking of 12,845 berths for passengers were done on Howrah-New Delhi special trains followed by Bengaluru-New Delhi (11,643) and Dibrugarh-New Delhi (11,172).

The other three special trains which saw maximum bookings for passengers were Mumbai-New Delhi (10,991), New Delhi-Dibrugarh (10,722) and New Delhi-Howrah (10,174).

There will be a daily operation of special trains on these routes. Officials said it is taking a couple of days for mobilisation of the rakes at the required stations for running these trains.

It is mandatory for passengers to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones, before commencing their journey on AC special trains.

According to Home Ministry guidelines, on arrival at their destination, the passengers will have to adhere to health protocols prescribed by the destination state/Union Territory.

The railways has maintained that before commencing journey, passengers have been advised to check health protocols of their destination state.

Meanwhile, the health department of the Delhi government issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) saying that all the asymptomatic persons reaching the national capital would be allowed to go to their respective homes.

Since the trains will be operated amidst the ongoing nationwide lockdown, only the passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed to enter the stations.

However, no reservation against cancellation (RAC), wait-list ticket or on-board booking by the ticket-checking staff will be permitted, the railways said.

Subsequent to the Ministry of Home Affairs order regarding transport of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other people stranded at different places by special trains, Indian Railways had decided to operate ‘Shramik Special’ trains.

The railways also said nearly 6.8 lakh stranded migrant workers, tourists and students have been transported by Shramik Special trains until Tuesday (12 May) afternoon.

In these Shramik Special trains, proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. During the journey, passengers are being provided free meals and water by the IRCTC which gets reimbursed by the railways.

The Shramik trains have travelled to various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,
Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The passenger service was suspended for 50 days in view of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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