New Delhi: In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID 19, the Ministry of Railways has decided to extend the cancellation of train services on Indian Railways, ie all Mail/Express trains (including premium trains), passenger trains, suburban trains and trains of Metro Railway, Kolkata, till 2400 hrs of April 14. The Railways had earlier cancelled all trains till March 31.
COVID 19: Railways to operate only freight trains as of now
However, freight train operations are being continued to ensure the supply essential commodities, the ministry said in an official release. In a statement released on March 24, the Railways had said that it is making all efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services.
Essential Commodity- ‘Milk products’ loaded on 24.03.2020 from Palanpur to New Guwahati in covered BCN wagons. pic.twitter.com/qRkA6NUFKK
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) March 24, 2020
Because of lockdown in various states to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Indian Railways staff deployed at various good sheds, stations, and control offices are working on a 24×7 basis to ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not get affected, the Railways had said.
Concessions offered by Railways
Indian Railways has slashed the demurrage and wharfage rates for goods and parcel at half of the prescribed rates till March 31. The validity of rate policies pertaining to goods/container traffic has also been extended by one month up to April 30. No haulage charge shall be levied for the movement of empty containers/empty flat wagons from March 24 to April 30.
Free time for loading/unloading of wagons and for removal of consignment from railway premises has been increased to double of the prescribed free time till March 31. To monitor the uninterrupted movement of essential commodities over the Indian Railways system, emergency freight control is working in the Ministry of Railways. Freight movement is being closely monitored by officials at a very senior level.