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COVID-19: Railways hike platform ticket prices to discourage crowding at stations

New Delhi/Mumbai: All railway zones have been advised to hike the platform tickets from Rs 10 to Rs 50 in a bid to discourage gathering of large crowds in view of the coronavirus, a senior official of railways said on Tuesday.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal held a high-level meeting to discuss the steps taken by the national transporter to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"In order to regulate unnecessary crowding at stations, as a temporary measure all Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) are requested to raise platform ticket prices to Rs 50 at important stations (dealing large passengers/visitors rush).

"It is only a temporary increase. Prices can be restored when the situation permits," a senior official said here.

While the Western Railway and Central Railway were first off the block to announce the hike, most of the other railway zones followed suit.

The maximum rate of Rs 50 would be applicable at big stations, officials said with graded hikes at relatively smaller ones.

"#COVID19 preventive measures. Central Railway on its Mumbai, Pune, Bhusaval, and Solapur divisions increased the platform ticket from Rs 10 to Rs 50 till further advice," the Central Railway said on Twitter.

The Western Railway authorities also informed that they have hiked platform ticket rates up to Rs 50 and the highest rate will be applicable at big stations such as Mumbai Central.

Platform tickets over South Central Railway have been set at Rs 50 for all NSG (1 to 4 stations) and suburban stations. Both these categories have 84 stations.

For NSG-5 and 6 stations, the price is being increased to Rs 20. This category has 499 stations.

The stations have been clubbed into three groups i.e. Non-suburban (NSG), Suburban (SG) and Halt (HG).

NSG 1 stations usually record highest footfall and revenue with NSG 6 stations recording minimum footfall.

During the meeting, Goyal also formed a response team comprising of executive directors from the Railway Board -- consisting of ED passenger marketing, ED health planning and ED environment management among others to deal with COVID-19.

This team will coordinate all COVID-19 preparedness activities, monitor progress through online dashboard and other forums, resolve issues of railway zones/PUs, issue advisories and media briefs and prepare position for review meetings at various forums.

One nodal officer from each zone will serve as point of contact for all COVID-19 preparedness measures and will be in constant touch with the COVID Response team of Railway Board.

Online monitoring system has been created to do real time monitoring of the efforts across the country.

(Image from thenewsminute.com)

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