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    On 24th March, 2020 Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced a lockdown from three weeks to contain the deadly Coronavirus. Indian Railways in its efforts to partake in the fight against COVID-19 has decided to cancel all Passenger services till 14th April 2020. However Western Railway continues to work at large by ensuring that essential commodities may be made available across the nation in this dire situation.

    According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, even though Western Railway is incurring losses amounting to Rs. 121.37 crores (up to 25th March, 2020) on the account of Coronavirus lockdown, W Rly. continues to keep the wheels running in order to maintain the supply of essential commodities across all parts of country. They are ensuring that the movement of freight trains takes place so that coal reaches the power houses, food grains are available in the granaries and all essential commodities are available across India.

    Some of the efforts made by Western Railway to keep the lifeline running even in tough times are,

    ● A total of 237 rakes have been used to supply essential commodities such as POL (Petroleum, Oil & Lubricants), salt, cement, coal and containers were loaded amounting to 0.56 million tones.

    ● During the period 656 freight trains were interchanged with other railways including 325 trains handed over and 331 trains had taken over at different interchange points.

    ● Despite shortage of labour, all efforts are being made to unload important stock.

    ● Our dedicated staff which are attending their duties are observing all precautions such as maintaining adequate distance and using sanitizers while on work.

    ● During this period, 5 Millennium Parcel rakes of Parcel Vans/Railway Milk Tankers (RMTs) have been sent to different parts of the country to cope the demands of essential items such as, milk powder, liquid milk and other general consumer goods:
    – Ex Dahanu Road to Bhimsen
    – Ex Kakariya to Bhimsen near Jhansi
    – Ex Palanpur to Hind Terminal (Palwal)
    – Ex Karambeli to New Guwahati
    – Ex Palanpur to Hind Terminal

    Suitable monitoring of all actions which are being carried out is being done by Alok Kansal, General Manager of Western Railway and Principal Head of Dept. along with their teams to cope with the situation and to ensure smooth implementation of all plans. 

    In order to continue with the running of these trains, the Operating and the Maintenance staff are setting new benchmarks each passing day. Besides their commitment & courage, safety measures have been taken to ensure that the staff is able to carry out their work in a safe and healthy environment.

    Special efforts have been taken to disinfect locomotives which are being used for the transportation of these essential items and social distancing is being practiced religiously by the railway staff. To support the efforts of the railway staff who are tirelessly working round the clock, by the collective efforts of the MSU team, Samaj Seva Team and the Baroda Kerala Samajam, foods packets were distributed to railway staff.

    Other than these developments, Western Railway has also successfully refunded Rs. 97.49 crores against cancellation of tickets and in Mumbai Division itself refund of Rs. 45.69 crores have been made. Likewise, a total of 14,304 trains have been cancelled including 6,036 Mail/Express trains and 8,268 Passenger trains.

    Western Railway displays true spirit of “Work is Worship” even in the tough times of lockdown due to Coronavirus Pandemic and continues to serve the nation by lending its hand through essential service, be it freight traffic or medical facility. From security to engineering, Western Railway is always geared to face whatever may be the situation.

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