Janta Curfew: Railways lockdown on Sunday about 3700 trains cancelled

Indian railway checking passenger Coronavirus
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New Delhi, March 20, 2020: Due to Coronavirus outbreak, the rail traffic in the country will be stopped from Saturday midnight to Sunday night.

In view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for observance of ‘Janta curfew’, the Ministry of Railways has decided to completely stop rail traffic (Rail curfew) in the country between Saturday midnight and 10 pm Sunday. During this time, the trains already running will be stopped at the stations and passengers will be kept in the waiting rooms.

Not only this, the operation of local trains in metros likes Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi will also be very limited. This is the first time that such a large number of rail operations have been stopped.

According to the directive issued by the Ministry of Railways to all the general managers, during the said period of March 21-22, no zone will run any train. This means that 2400 passenger trains and 1300 mail / express trains will not run across the country. Bookings made for these trains will be deemed canceled and their entire money will be refunded to the passengers.

“Keeping in view the fact that the demand for rail travel will be vastly reduced during the Janta curfew ie 7 am to 9 pm on 22.03.2020 (Sunday), zonal railways are hereby advised to regulate services as follows:-

(a) Suburban services in MumbaI, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad :- these services shall be reduced to bare minimum level only to cater to essential travel requirement keeping in view that the day falls on a holiday ie Sunday. The number of services may be decided by the zonal railways as per assessment of local conditions and requirements.

(b) Passenger trains:-all passenger trains originating between midnight of 21/22.03.2020 to 10 pm  of 22.03.2020 (approximately 2400 services) on 22nd march, 2020 shall not be run. However, the passenger train services already on run at 7 am on the day will be allowed to run to the destinations. Divisions should keep a watch and trains which are empty could be short terminated, if required.

(c) mail/express and intercity trains:-all long-distance mail/express and intercity trains originating between 4 am and 10 pm on the day (22nd march 2020) will remain cancelled (approximately 1300 services). However, trains already on run at 7 am on the day will be allowed to run to the destinations.  Passengers alighting at enroute stations from trains already on run and desirous of staying at the station may be accommodated in the waiting halls, waiting rooms and concourse without creating overcrowding conditions. Provision of drinking water, refreshments (on payment) shall be arranged to cater to the needs of such passengers. Adequate arrangements may be made to facilitate hassle-free refund to passengers affected by train cancellations.

Zonal railways will keep a close watch on the situation at major stations and where needed order special trains to clear rush of passengers who may be stranded at stations despite advance public notice.”


Passengers of running trains will remain at stations

During this period, the trains which have already left for their destinations and will be stopped at the station in the middle and will be kept a little distance at the waiting places, main hall etc. During this period, the zonal officials have been told to keep a close watch on the condition of the stations and ensure that there is no inconvenience to the passengers and no odd situation arises.

Information to railway passengers

In order to make the public aware of these extraordinary measures, the officials have been asked to give prior information to the passengers through the announcement system, pamphlets, websites, TV and newspapers. So that there is no panic among the passengers. Authorities have also been asked to make arrangements to run a sufficient number of special trains for passengers arriving at the stations after 10 pm on 22 March, with the passengers stopped at the stations after the ‘rail curfew’ is over.

Food Stalls to be shut

As a precaution to prevent the spreading of Coronavirus infection, IRCTC has taken the following action which will come in force from 22nd March, 2020. They are as under:

1. All Food Plazas, Refreshment Rooms, Jan Aahars and Cell Kitchens to be closed.

2. All static units supplying meals to the prepaid trains which are in operation may continue to operate.

3. The On-Board Catering Services on Mail/Express trains and TSV (Train Side Vending) trains to be closed until further advice.

4. If there is demand of On-Board Services then only PAD (Propriety Article Depot) items, tea and coffee may be allowed to be sold in the train. Such operation should be conducted using minimum staff.

5. The licensee should be requested to take care of their catering staff on humanitarian ground during this period of closure.