In line with Ministry of Railways decision to extend the cancellation of passenger train services in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic till April 14 midnight, all Mail/Express trains (including premium trains), local passenger trains, running on Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will remain cancelled during this lockdown period.
However, freight train operations are being continued 24×7 to ensure the supply of essential commodities, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR Subhanan Chanda informed in a statement in Guwahati on March 26.
He said, “Our essential staffs are working day and night to run freight train services throughout the country ferrying essential commodities like salt, sugar, food-grains for public distribution system and petroleum products among others. Moreover, we are also carrying other items like potatoes, milk, vegetables, fertilizers and food-grains transported by private businesses so that there is no shortage of these commodities among the general populace of the country”.
Apart from drivers, guards of train and trackmen on track patrolling duty, a number of signal and telecommunication maintenance staff, station staff, staff at control offices, staff at Goods Offices, Level Crossing gates etc are working, for ensuring that trains carrying goods reach their destinations safely and supply of essential items for the nation doesn’t get affected.
Close coordination is being maintained with the State Governments so that the rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay, amidst various restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19, Chanda said.
The CPRO further informed that all PRS counters all over NFR will also remain closed during the lockdown period to strictly ensure social distancing.
Railways have already modified the ticket refund procedures to minimize problems of passengers so that they can avoid coming to station at present asking for ticket refund.
Support from all stakeholders is required in fighting the spread of corona and ensuring essential supplies to the public, the CPRO added.