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Pakistan

Web Desk
May 5, 2020

Ministry of Railways announces partial resumption of services from May 10

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, May 05, 2020
AFP/Files

The Ministry of Railways said Tuesday that it would resume partial operations  from May 10, which had been suspended earlier in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

According to a notification by the ministry, in the first phase, 15 trains will operate throughout the country.

In line with social distancing guidelines, passengers will be required to keep their tickets ready and show them to the conductor to ensure no physical contact takes place between them and the train staff.

The notification said that 50% of the booking would have to be made online. The Khyber Mail, Awam Express, Tezgam, Islamabad Express and a few others will resume services.

Earlier, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said the lockdown in the country had led to Pakistan Railways incurring more than Rs1billion in losses every week.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the railways minister said, “We are bound by the government’s decision, but if this lockdown is over, we will run 20 trains, as they are needed.”

He added that railways will start its freight service with the prime minister’s permission from the 15th.

“In the last two days before the lockdown, more than 165,00 passengers travelled in trains,” he noted.

The federal minister had assured that pensioners and railway employees should not be worried as they had data of nearly 1,670 coolies, which had been sent to the Ehsaas Programme for income support.

“No employee of Pakistan Railways has contracted the virus and the situation in the country is better as compared to some other countries. The situation will become clearer on April 14; if not, we will not resume train operations in the country,” he added.

More than 21,838 confirmed cases of the virus have been recorded so far in the country along with 505 deaths.