New Delhi: Amid rise in the spread of COVID-19 cases around India, Indian Railways on Saturday stated that it will levy a fine of up to Rs 500 on the passengers for not wearing face masks in the premises of railway platforms or during the travel in trains, for six months.
In a letter to all the General Managers of Railway zones on Saturday, Executive Director of Passenger Marketing Neeraj Sharma said, "Indian Railways is taking various measures to contain the spread of the resurgence of Covid-19 pandemic, in accordance with the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time. One of the specific guideline is to wear masks in order to contain the spread of the pandemic."
The Standard operating procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought by Indian Railways on May 11, 2020 says that "it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover or masks at entry and during travel".
"Accordingly, to prevent spitting and act of similar nature and thus to ensure wearing of face masks or face cover by all persons at railway premises (including trains), fines (up to Rs 500) under Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules 2012 shall be imposed by railway officials authorised for this purpose, from persons not wearing face mask or cover in railway premises including trains," it said.
"This issues with the concurrence of Finance Directorate of Ministry of Railways," he added.
On Saturday, India recorded over 2.3 lakh COVID-19 cases. India has been reporting over two lakh cases of COVID for the three consecutive days. The national transporter is currently operating 70 per cent of its passenger train services across India.
NO OVER-CROWDING AT PUNE RAILWAY STATION
From last few days, the Pune Railway Station is observing big number of crowd. Now, the Pune Railway administration has appealed not to over-crowd Pune Railway Station without any reason. The Pune Railway Department is taking all possible steps to deal with the current situation of the pandemic. Ticket inspection and ticket booking staff as well as RPF (Railway Police Force) staff are ready to maintain order at stations. The department has also made an appeal to passengers not to create unnecessary congestion at the station.
Only passengers with confirmed tickets are allowed to enter the platform and travel. Passengers on the ticket waiting list are not allowed to visit the platform and travel. Thus, these passengers should not gather near the platform premises.
Passengers are requested to adhere protocols such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, frequent hand washing, use of sanitiser and more during train journeys.