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State govts. want to cut frequency of trains — Railways

By IANS Updated: Jul 10, 2020 10:53 pm

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS): The Indian Railways has not announced any new train services beside the 230 train services as it has been getting requests from several state governments to reduce the frequency, cancel the stoppages depending on the coronavirus situation, said Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav on Friday.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Yadav said, “We are in constant touch with state governments on a real time basis, and depending on the Covid-19 situation we are getting request for cancellation of few trains, reducing the frequency of trains and sometime cancelling the stoppage of the trains in the state.”

“And it is the reason why we have been unable to announce more train services in the coming days,” he said. The Indian Railways has suspended the passenger, mail and express train services from March 25 to combat the spread of Covid-19. It started to run Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists.

The railways then started the 15 pairs of Special air conditioned trains from May 12 and 100 pairs of time tabled trains from June 1. Elaborating on the issue, the Chairman said, “The Tamil Nadu government requested us to cancel seven trains from June 29 to July 15. And yesterday they again wrote to us that they want to further cancel those trains. So we have cancelled those trains until further notice.”

He said that the Railways similarly got request from the West Bengal government to reduce the frequency of five trains and request from the Odisha government to cancel some of the stoppages of few trains.

“Similarly we got a request from the Jharkhand government that two trains be cancelled because these trains are passing through Covid-19 affected cities,” he said. Yadav said that the national transporter has been running the passenger train services to ensure essential transport services are maintained and it is also monitoring the Covid-19 situation and is in touch with the state governments.

The Chairman also said that the railways are also monitoring the occupancy in the 230 trains. “As of June 26, 28 trains had the occupancy of less than 30 per cent, 29 trains had occupancy between 30 to 50 per cent, 27 trains had the occupancy of 50 to 75 per cent, 39 trains with 75 to 100 per cent occupancy and 80 trains with more than 100 per cent occupancy,” he said.

By IANS Updated: Jul 10, 2020 10:53:05 pm