Fighting Covid-19: India shows the way with ‘Janta Curfew’; passenger trains suspended till March 31

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Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to observe a self-imposed ‘Janta Curfew’ for 14-hours today, citizens in India have gone indoors in a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. Cities across the country are witnessing a deserted look with the ‘Janta Curfew’ eliciting whole-hearted cooperation from the masses.

In another major related development, the Indian Railways have decided to suspend the operation of all passenger trains till March 31 midnight. Goods trains, however, will continue to operate.

All railway operations will be suspended till March 31 in wake of the coronavirus outbreak in India. No passenger train will be allowed to operate till March 31, and trains finishing their journeys will be terminated at the point. Only goods trains will run from March 22 midnight till March 31 midnight, says the Indian Railways. “All passenger train services on Indian Railways including premium train services, mail/express trains, passenger trains, suburban trains, Kolkata Metro, Konkan Raiways, etc, will be cancelled toll March 31,” the Railways said in a statement.

As per the Indian railways, minimum suburban services, including the Kolkata Metro service, will continue till March 22 midnight. Thereafter, the services will stop till Mar 31 midnight. The final decision on this was taken during a meeting of the Railways board today.

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However, trains that had already commended their journey, prior to 4.00 am on March 22 will run up to their destinations, the railways said. “Adequate arrangements shall be made for the passengers, who have commenced their journey during the travel and at their destinations,” the Railways statement added.

The railways said to ensure essential supplies in parts of the country, movement of goods trains will continue. For those who have already booked train tickets, the Railways will provide full refund for all cancelled trains till March 21. “Adequate arrangements shall be made to facilitate hassle-free refund to passengers affected by train cancellations,” the Railways statement said.

The Railways had earlier decided to cancel all passenger trains on today to support the Janta Curfew call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision was taken in view of the fact that the demand for rail travel would be vastly reduced during the Janta Curfew, said Ministry of Railways had said.

In his address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to observe “Janata Curfew” on March 22 from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Under Janta Curfew, the PM appealed people to stay away from public places and self-isolate themselves in their homes.

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