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CM urges to run more suburban trains to avoid Covid surge

CM urges to run more suburban trains to avoid Covid surge
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Kolkata: As suburban train services resumed in the state after around seven months, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the Railways to further increase the service frequency by adding more number of trains for checking spike in covid cases.

"Suburban train service has resumed from Wednesday amid the pandemic situation as the people were facing inconvenience. Their livelihood was also getting affected. I would urge the Railways to run more trains. Covid cases may go up if gathering takes place. Use of masks is a must. Increase the frequency of service of the suburban trains," Banerjee said.

The suburban services resumed with 615 and 81 trains running under Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway respectively.

Meanwhile, ER and SER authorities have also urged passengers to maintain social distancing, hand hygiene and wear masks while travelling to check transmission of the novel coronavirus.

During pre-Covid period, over 1,400 trains were run by ER and SER from Sealdah and Howrah stations respectively.

In both Howrah and Sealdah stations, separate entry and exit gates have been made for passengers of local trains and long-distance trains.

In Sealdah, a passenger can't traverse the station through internal passages due to barricades placed between the north and south sections. In such a scenario, the passenger has to walk out of the station to reach the other end from a different entry point.

According to the officials, 600 passengers are being allowed to travel at a time in a train, which has a seating capacity of 1200. No daily tickets are being issued in advance.

RPF, GRP and Police personnel have been deployed at major stations (Sealdah and Howrah stations) to manage passengers.

"I am happy that suburban train services have resumed. Today, I travelled from Barasat to Kolkata for treatment at Calcutta National Medical College. I believe that the Railways should increase trains to avoid crowding," said Sanjay Rai, a local train passenger and resident of Barasat.

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