The Ministry of Home Affairs recently released standard guidelines for restarting train journeys while strictly directing that only asymptomatic passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be permitted to travel.
The Indian Railways will begin train bookings (onward 4 pm on 11th May 2020) and start operations from 12th May 2020, days since the lockdown forced the country’s railways to come to halt.
The Home Ministry further stated that the trains will be allowed to operate by the Ministry of Railways in a graded manner and the restating of railway operations will further be overlooked by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The SOP issued by the MHA on 11th May 2020, broadly states the following:
- Railway Ministry to ensure that passengers are screened and only those who are asymptomatic will be allowed to enter or board a train.
- Only those with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station. The movement of the passengers and the driver of the vehicle transporting the passengers to and fro the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.
- All passengers shall be provided hand sanitizers at stations and in coaches.
- On arrival at their destination, the traveling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state or union territory.
- During boarding and travel, all passengers will have to observe social distancing.
- All passengers will have to wear a face mask or cover their faces at the time of entry and during travel.
Further information including the train schedules will be shared separately by the concerned authorities in due course.