By Nishant Ketu
ew Delhi [India], November 17 (ANI): Northern Railways have claimed that better assessment of crowd during the festive season and the preparations made to control it have helped in managing congestion at stations and trains during the COVID-19 period and providing better facilities to passengers, said Ashutosh Gangwal, General Manager of Northern Railway.
"Before the festival season came, we had decided to hold a meeting and this year, due to the special requirements due to COVID, we decided to make arrangements according to social distancing, so that the passengers do not experience any inconvenience," said Gangwal.
"In view of that, we estimated how many passengers would come. Accordingly, arranged the rakes and saw how many trains would be required to run. On the same basis, we arranged everything," he added.
Regarding the waiting list in many trains, Gangwal said that it is constantly being monitored and special trains are being arranged immediately wherever needed.
"During Diwali and Chhath Puja a lot of people move out of Delhi, those who are on the waiting list can go via Special trains. Last year, Indian Railways ran 1063 trips. This year it has multiplied three times. This year 3,237 trips took place. Earlier when regular trains used to run, there was less requirement of the special trains and there was less availability of rakes. Now that less number of trains are running this year, we have more number of rakes. If required, more trips will be planned," said Gangwal.
Regarding the arrangements made for the implementation of the COVID-19 protocol at the stations, Gangwal said that the Northern Railways have made arrangements to follow the rules of social distancing. Temporary scanning has been arranged at the stations, he added.
"Earlier there was no time restriction. But, right now they are giving entry according to the timing of the trains. Arrangements have been made to sit outside, other arrangements are being made for the passengers during their journey. Additional staff has been deployed at the stations to guide the people," said Gangwal.
He expressed serious concern over the closure of trains in Punjab due to farmer agitation at the time of festivals. "We are making efforts at every level. We also wish that the railways and other passengers residing in Punjab can provide railway facilities," he added. (ANI)