To prevent the spread COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Railways discontinued all passenger services immediately after introduction of the national lockdown. Thereafter, keeping in view the requirement of movement of stranded persons Shramik specials were organized in a mission mode. These Shramik specials were operated as “trains on demand” as and when State Governments requisitioned these trains in accordance with the protocol and guidelines issued by the Government. Starting from 01.05.2020 upto 31st August 2020, 4621 Shramik Specials have been operated as per demands of State Government. Trains were sanitized, accompanied by Railway Protection Force (RPF), food and water were provided during journey. Indian Railways also ran parcel train services to deliver agricultural produce, medicine and other essential items during the lockdown period. Railways also ensured adequate supplies of essential commodities such as coal for power sector, food grains, fertilizer etc., throughout the lock down to meet the needs of citizens in various ways.
In its efforts to gradually resume its passengers services, Indian Railways resumed passenger trains operation by operating 15 pairs of Special trains w.e.f. 12.05.2020 and by operating 100 pairs of trains w.e.f. 01.06.2020. An additional 43 pairs of Special trains have been introduced w.e.f. 12.09.2020. At present, only Special trains with limited stoppages are being operated, keeping in view the concerns of the State Governments in order to facilitate the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. Sources https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1655121
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