The Metro and local train services that were discontinued due the coronavirus pandemic resumed in West Bengal on Wednesday. The state government had been discussing the operations with the Indian Railways on the operation of the services. As the Indian Railways anticipated, the footfall will increase massively due to the inexpensive transport cost that trains provide, the ministry has also asserted that people must strictly follow the safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19 infection.
The Eastern Railway urged people to use facemasks and hand sanitisers at all times. According to the decision, the trains will function with 50% capacity.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal announced that 696 suburban trains will run across the state of West Bengal from today.
The South Eastern Railway has deployed security personnel to enforce social distancing and safety measures. The division has ensured that the train coaches and the platforms will be sanitized properly to fight the COVID-19 infection.
Currently, The Eastern Railway is dealing with the operation of 413 suburban trains in the Sealdah division and 202 in Howrah division.
In Kolkata, the Metro trains will run every seven minutes during peak hours in order to eliminate crowding in the trains. An official from the Metro service said that 190 trains will be functional on daily basis on weekdays with 95 trains in each direction. From Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash, the train schedule commences at 8am and the last train will depart at 9pm.
Metro rails have become an integral part of urban commuting and cater to most of the working-class population of any city. The safety measures have satisfied the passengers who fear contracting infection in crowded areas. Many offices and other work places have resumed and the discontinuation of the rail services made travelling inefficient. The resumption of services would not only save time.
(with PTI inputs)