For post-COVID-19 lockdown, Indian Railways to ask states about requirement of special trains; details

Indian Railways train services: With the Modi government looking at various options for a post-lockdown exit strategy, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is all set to speak to states to understand if there is any requirement for limited, essential movement of people like those stranded, labourers, etc.

The move is to allow Indian Railways and the government to gauge if states would be on board such a plan, with PM Modi telling the political parties that nobody had suggested that the Centre lift the national lockdown in one go. According to sources quoted in an IE report, to ascertain the demand, the Railway Board has authorized general managers of Indian Railways’ zones to speak to state chief secretaries.

In many deliberations that were held earlier during the lockdown, states had sought transportation for those stranded in far-flung areas. Also, as migrants have gone back to their villages and cannot come back due to the lockdown, factories in various parts of the country processing novel Coronavirus-related orders are facing a shortage of labour.

Meanwhile, a group of MPs has suggested to the government that mass transport facilities such as Indian Railways should stay closed for now in order to prevent labourers from returning back home.

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