Railways cancels 85 trains over COVID-19 crisis

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Following coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Railways on Tuesday cancelled 85 trains due to low occupancy in different zones from March 18 to April 1.

A senior Railway Ministry official said the decision to cancel the trains was taken in view of the low occupancy amid the coronavirus outbreak in several states.

The railway official said Central Railway cancelled 23 trains, followed by South Central Railway cancelling 29 trains, Western Railways cancelling 10 trains, northern Railways five, North Western Railways four, East Coast Railways five and South Eastern Railways cancelling nine trains from March 18 to April 1.

The railways even increased the prices of the platform tickets at over 250 stations from Rs 10 to Rs 50 to stop the crowding at the railway stations,” he said.

He said the decision the decision was taken in order to regulate unnecessary crowding at stations, as a temporary measure.

He said railway board has directed all DRM’s to raise Platform ticket prices to Rs 50 at important stations that deals with large passengers or visitors rush.

He said, the prices of platform tickets also has been increased at New Delhi railway station to Rs 50.

The official said the Western Railway has increased the platfrom ticket fare to Rs 50 for railway stations of Mumbai, Vadodra, Ahmedabad, Ratlam, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. “The increase in the platform ticket prices is a temporary measure to contain extra load of people in the railway premises”, he said.

The Central Railway increased the prices of the platform tickets at over 174 stations, while the East Central Railway increased the prices of platform tickets at 10 stations in Bihar.

He pointed out that in March 2015, the railways had delegated power to Divisional Railway Managers (DRMS) to increase the rate of platform tickets beyond Rs 10 to regulate rush at platforms during specific requirements under intimation of its office.

With 12 new cases of novel coronavirus infections reported in India on Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients in India climbed to 126, up from 114 a day earlier, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.



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