As Indian Railways has started operations of passenger trains now, the government has issued some special guidelines for the travellers. The railways has finally resumed its services after about one and a half months of lockdown. However, only 15 trains will run now, that makes up 30 return journeys. These will be special trains from New Delhi Railway Station to Howrah, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Patna, Mumbai Central, Ranchi, Agartala, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Dibrugarh, Bilaspur, Madgaon and Jammu Tawi. Read on to know the updated travel rules.
New Guidelines For Travelling By Train
The updated travel guidelines for trains operating now are as follows:
1. Passengers can buy only e-tickets, i.e. they can book their tickets only online through IRCTC website. No ticket counters will be open now.
2. Only confirmed e-tickets shall be booked. Booking of RAC/Waiting list ticket and onboard booking by ticket checking staff shall not be allowed. Also, one cannot book tatkal and premium tatkal tickets.
3. Only passengers with valid tickets will be able to enter the stations.
4. Advance Reservation Period (ARP) will be of a maximum of seven days.
5. Passengers should carry their own food and drinking water. However, the authorities will provide dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water on request, inside the trains on payment basis.
6. The ticket fares won’t include any catering charges. The pre-paid meal booking or e-catering options are disabled now.
7. The passengers will have to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance for thermal screening.
8. The authorities won’t provide any linen, blankets and curtains inside the trains. Passengers should carry their own linen.
9. The travellers will be given hand sanitizers at entry and exit points at stations and also in the coaches.
10. It is compulsory for all travellers to wear face masks.
11. Passengers need to observe social distancing both at the station and inside the trains.
12. On arriving a destination, a passenger needs to follow the health protocols prescribed in that state or union territory.
13. People can cancel tickets online up to 24 hours before the departure time. Cancellation charges will be 50 percent of the fare.
14. The stalls and booths on the platforms will remain closed.
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The Ministry of Railways has advised all passengers to download the Aarogya Setu application. Only people with no symptoms will have permission to board the trains. There will be separate entry and exit gates at the stations to ensure that there is no face to face movement of passengers. Apart from these passenger trains, operations of about 300 ‘Shramik special’ trains daily will begin for the stranded migrants.
Also Read: Study Suggests, Delhi Pollution Level Drops To Almost Zero Amid Lockdown
Finally, the time has come to step out of our homes and travel far, but only when it’s absolutely necessary. It’s best if you can continue staying indoors. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has crossed 70,000 in India, with about 2293 deaths. Therefore, if you’re travelling, be extra cautious and strictly adhere to all the hygiene protocols.