New Delhi [India], May 11 (ANI): In order to ensure the strict compliance of social distancing norms, all seats will not be available for booking in the passenger trains which are scheduled to run from May 12, said Union Minister of State (MoS) for Railways, Suresh Angadi on Monday.
"To facilitate the easy movement of people, Railway Ministry has announced 15 pairs of passenger trains with AC coaches and limited stops and they are scheduled to run from May 12. These trains will not have general bogies. To ensure that social distancing and other health norms are strictly followed, all seats will not be available for booking in the passenger train," Angadi told ANI over the phone.
Angadi said that to avoid crowding at the railway stations, only the passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations.
"Nobody is allowed to gather at railway premises unnecessarily. All passengers will undergo thermal screening for the detection of COVID-19, before boarding the train. Social distancing and other guidelines will be ensured during the journey. Those who want to board these trains have to buy the train tickets from IRCTC website. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed. It is in the service of people," he added.
Angadi further said that various Chief Ministers have requested for these special trains.
"Several Chief Ministers had asked for such special trains. We have started Shramik Special trains, Apart from that, 15 pairs of special trains will run with a very limited stoppage. One should not do politics over it. But unfortunately, Sonia Gandhi has also done politics on it. The railway is continuously supporting the nation's fight against COVID-19. The railway is transporting goods, medicines, milk. We have to unite in the fight against COVID-19," he said.
The Ministry of Railways had on Sunday announced to run 15 pairs of passenger trains with AC coaches and limited stops from May 12.
"All passenger trains will be run only with AC coaches and limited stops. The fare will be equivalent to the ticket fare that is charged for the Rajdhani trains," said the ministry.
These trains -- meant for 15 destinations across the country -- will run from New Delhi railway station. The online booking of tickets will start at 4 pm on May 11. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed. (ANI)