When nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24 last year, the Indian railways, for the first time since its inception, shut down all its services.
Indian Railways’ top official said on Friday there were no plans to stop train services in view of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to authorities imposing several restrictions across the country on the movement of people. Railway Board chairperson Suneet Sharma cleared the air around the government body’s plan amid rising cases of the infection.
Talking specifically about Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit regions by Covid-19, Sharma said there was no request from the state government to curb train services, including those of suburban trains. He also said there was no shortage of trains and the crowd seen on stations was usual during these months.
“Crowds seen at railway stations is a result of a normal surge seen during these months, wherever there is a surge in demand we will increase trains. There is no shortage of trains for those who want to travel. I assure everyone that trains will be provided on demand wherever the need arises,” he said.
When the nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24 last year, the Indian Railways, for the first time since its inception, shut down all its services, leaving thousands of migrants stranded far from their homes.
The Railways’ clarification comes as the centre and various state governments are imposing new Covid-19 restrictions amid the second wave of infections. States of Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat among others have either imposed a statewide night curfew or have announced partial lockdowns in their cities to curb the spread of the infection. The national capital too, imposed a night curfew from 10pm to 5am on April 6.