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Centre to run around 200 more trains during this festive season

New Delhi: During this festive season, the government is planning to run more trains across the zones. The CEO of Rail Board Vinod Kumar Yadav confirmed on Thursday that after taking all the measures during this pandemic situation, the ministry has decided to run around 200 trains from October 15 to November 30 this year.

"We have communicated with all respective General Managers of all zones to assess the COVID-19 situation, they will submit reports to the ministry," Yadav said. He further added that the traffic pattern is different now than in the other years. If the situation is conducive in that respective zone, and if there is more demand, then the ministry may run more trains.

Moreover, the rail ministry is coordinating with the state governments daily to take stock of the pandemic situation. Based on these reports, the ministry is running two to four additional trains, instead of dozens. This process will be continued, the rail board chief informed. "Our objective is only being safe and operating a safe system so that passengers do not get infected. We are aiming to reduce the cases and that is the biggest challenge for us," the CEO added.

Meanwhile, Indian Railways have started running clone trains to end the waiting list system. The government may increase the numbers of such clone trains if the occupancy rate gets higher in a particular route. The rail board chairperson also said that "Every morning we assess through artificial intelligence to analyse the occupancy rate. If we find a waiting list for a longer period, we decide to run the clone train. The current rate of occupancy in such trains is around 60 per cent."

Apart from running more trains to disperse the traffic during this festive season, Indian Railways have taken an important decision to kick off an awareness campaign amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The ministry aims to educate passengers and residents of surrounding areas of rail stations through posters at both trains and stations, outreach programmes by railway staff and officials and special announcements. The awareness campaign will also inform people about the precautions to follow to combat with Coronavirus and how to be safe in this situation.

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