With the passenger train services to resume from May 12, the Union Home Ministry on Monday issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of persons by train. According to SOP, the movement of trains will be permitted by the Railway Ministry in a graded manner in consultation with the ministries of Health and Home Affairs, only those passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed to enter the station, all passengers at the stations will be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to enter and board the train.
Train schedule, protocols for bookings, entry and movement of passengers and coach service specifications will be widely publicised by the Railway Ministry. The movement of the passengers as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passengers to and fro the railway station will be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.
The Railway Ministry will ensure all passengers at the stations will be provided with hand sanitizer at entry and exit points at the station and in coaches. Further, all passengers will be wearing face cover or mask at entry and during travel. During boarding and travel, all passengers will have to observe social distancing.
On its part, the Railway Ministry will circulate health advisories and guidelines through information, education and communication campaign for their staff and passengers.
On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to health protocols prescribed by the destination state and union territories.
As per the Railway Ministry announcement, initially 15 pairs of special trains will run from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, and Jammu Tawi.
The Railways Ministry has asked passengers to arrive at the station at least an hour before departure. Passengers, who would travel in these special trains, must use the Aarogya Setu app.
The Railway Ministry has clarified that the existing Shramik trains will continue to run as per the current system on the request of the state governments.