Only asymptomatic people with confirmed railway tickets will be allowed to travel

  • Movement of passengers at the railway station would be permitted only on confirmed e-tickets, said the document

  • There would be compulsory medical screening of all passengers and only asymptomatic persons would be allowed to travel

New Delhi: A day after the Ministry of Railways announced the resumption of services in a gradual manner starting May 12, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released a standard operating procedure on Monday for the movement of people by trains. The order issued by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla states clearly that screening will be mandatory for all passengers intending to travel and only those who are asymptomatic and have a confirmed ticket will be allowed to travel. 

Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station, connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi, the Ministry of Railways had said on May 10.

Thermal screening mandatory for all railway passengers

“Movement of passengers at the railway station would be permitted only on confirmed e-tickets. There would be a compulsory medical screening for all passengers. Only asymptomatic persons would be allowed to board the train. All passengers shall be provided with hand sanitizer at entry and exit points at stations and in coaches. During travel and at railway stations, health/hygiene protocols and social distancing should be strictly adhered to,” said the notification.

Passengers will also be required to wear masks or face covers at entry and during travel. “On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers would have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/ UT,” the document said.

The backdrop

After May 12, Railways shall start more special services on new routes based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and an adequate number of coaches for up to 300 “Shramik Special” trains everyday for stranded migrants. 

Booking for reservation in these 15 trains started at 4 pm on Monday. Tickets can be booked only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued.