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    Concessional booking of railway tickets suspended to discourage crowd in trains

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    Air Conditioned EMU Train suspended from 20th March, 2020

    To deal with Corona Virus outbreak, Indian Railways is taking various steps for the containment and spread of the disease. In this direction, Western Railway is also taking all best possible efforts to contain the spread of this deadly and life threatening disease.

    According to press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, all 12 services of the air conditioned EMU local  train on Mumbai Suburban section have been suspended w.e.f 20th March, 2020 upto 31st March, 2020. However, there will be no change in the total number of services being run, as these AC locals are being replaced by the regular non-AC trains.

    Hoardings regarding preventive measures to be adopted on the spread of corona virus have been installed at Charni Rd., Mahalaxmi, Dadar, Bandra ROB, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Andheri, Goregaon, Malad, Borivali, Vasai Rd and Virar stations. Vinyl wrapping of two EMU rakes is being done for awareness in suburban area. Spraying of Lizol disinfectant on grab poles, grab handles, SS partition, window grills, electrical switches and end panels is being done in all EMUs on daily basis.

    To discourage unnecessary travel and to prevent vulnerable category of senior citizens from undertaking unnecessary travels, concessional booking of all tickets except patients, students and divyangjan category for unreserved and reserved segment are being suspended from 00.00 hrs of 20th March, 2020 till further advisory. Continuous announcements at 228 stations of WR, wherever PA system is available are being made regarding precautions to be taken to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Posters and banners have been displayed conspicuously at 351 major stations.

    Stickers regarding COVID-19 precautions & awareness are displayed in all coaches and audio messages are being played in rakes with PA system like Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains). Information is also being disseminated through LCD/LED screens at stations. The frontline staff like the ticket checking staff, booking clerks etc have been provided with masks for their protection. All the coaches on all starting stations of WR are being thoroughly cleaned by using recommended disinfectant.

    In addition, on board cleaning staff have been counseled to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing areas of mass contact like switches, door handles, latches, taps, railings and others.  All dustbins provided in coaches are being thoroughly cleaned. Intensive cleaning of toilets, including wash basins, toilet seats are being done during depot maintenance as well as on board. Availability of liquid soap and water in toilets of coaches and pantry cars is being ensured at the start of journey as well as during run. Curtains in AC coaches have been removed and blankets have been withdrawn.

    Bulk SMSes are being sent to apprise passengers regarding carrying their own blankets. AC coach attendants have been appropriately counseled to regulate the temperature setting in AC coaches preferably between 24-25 degree celsius and ensure cleaning of air filters of AC coaches during every primary maintenance. The Linen are been given in sealed packets to passengers and AC linen attendants have been strictly counseled against recirculation of used linen. In addition to this, sufficient additional linen has also been provided on train, as a standby. Catering staff are using masks and hand gloves while dealing with passengers. They have also been instructed to ensure hygiene and frequent cleaning of catering units.

    As a measure towards the concept of social distancing, trains with low occupancy are being cancelled. So far 155 pairs of low occupancy trains over Indian Railways have been cancelled upto 31st March 2020. Trains are cancelled keeping in view the availability of alternate trains for passengers and ensuring that no passenger shall remain stranded . Full refund is being given to all the passengers of the cancelled trains. Indian Railways has also facilitated return of students stranded in Northern part of country due to sudden closure of educational institutions to their homes in other parts of the country. To restrict and discourage number of people in railway premises at selected big stations over W.Rly, the rate of platform tickets has been increased from Rs.10 to Rs.50/- as a precautionary measure for crowd management.

    Medical and Commercial frontline staff have been trained to extend all possible help to the passengers. They are provided with information about State, District & Railway medical facilities and helpline numbers. Medical emergency calls on Corona is being manned 24×7 and these calls are being handled with sincerity and alacrity. 1005 quarantine beds, 75 isolation beds have been arranged in 7 hospitals on Western Railway. The facility of offering the 7 railway hospitals to general public will be done after assessment by the State/Municipal Health Authorities. PPE (Mask, gown, goggle, shoe cover) have been stocked in all hospitals.

    Frontline staff have been sensitized to recommend people with symptoms and refer them for further testing at nominated hospitals. The contact number of local health authorities has been displayed at prominent places. The Municipal Corporation of Mumbai have submitted the list of foreign returned passengers to railways, which has been circulated to all stations. These passengers are prohibited from boarding the train, and in case they have boarded the train, they will be asked to alight at the next station.

    Zonal control room of W. Rly has been set up at Jagjivan Ram Hospital at Mumbai Central with contact numbers 022- 23080755, 022-67643200, 022-67643300 and the Whatsapp number of Medical Officer for Zone and JRH is – 9004490560. The staff and Doctors manning these isolation wards have been provided personal protection gears, masks and gloves with adequate sanitizers for infection control. Awareness audio and video clippings are being played in local trains, stations and hospitals.

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