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Railways to treat period between March 22 & Apr 14 under force majeure

The Indian Railways has said that it will treat the period between March 22 and April 14 under force majeure
New Delhi: The Indian Railways has said on Friday that it will treat the period between March 22 and April 14 under force majeure and has consequently waived off a number of charges during the period. It said in an official release, “Keeping in view Ministry of Finance OM No. 18/4/2020-PPD dt. 19.02.2020 inter alia citing “A force majeure (FM) means extraordinary events or circumstance beyond human control such as an event described as an Act of God (like a natural calamity)” clarifying that spread of coronavirus should be considered as a natural calamity and Force Majeure clause may be invoked, Ministry of Railways has decided that the period from 22.03.2020 to 14.04.2020 shall be treated under force majeure and none of the following mentioned charges shall arise for this period: Demurrage, Wharfage, Stacking, Stabling, Demurrage in case of privately/jointly owned stock, Demurrage on parcel traffic, Wharfage on parcel traffic, Detention Charge in case of container traffic and Ground Usage Charge in case of container traffic.”

What is force majeure?

It is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, plague, or an event described by the legal term act of God (hurricane, flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc.), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely, but only suspend it for the duration of the force majeure.

Railways ferried essential commodities in 1.6 lakh wagons over last 4 days

As the nation observes a lockdown and modes of public transport have been suspended, the Railways has ferried essential commodities in 1.6 lakh wagons in the last four days.  “While the whole country continues to be completely locked down due to the pandemic of Coronavirus, Indian Railways is fully committed to the welfare of the countrymen and is making all efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services. During the last 4 days, approximately 1.6 lacs wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chains functional. Of these, more than 1 lac wagons of essential commodities were ferried by Indian Railways to ensure that the nation keeps running and the supply chains keep functioning,” Railways said on Friday. Zonal Railways have been advised to coordinate with state government authorities to ensure logistics support in order to keep up the essential goods transportation.  Earlier on March 23, the Railway Board had issued instructions that no haulage charge would be levied for the movement of empty containers/empty flat wagons from March 24 to March 30.