Trains to ply with half seats from Sat...

Dhaka, Saturday   22 January 2022

Trains to ply with half seats from Sat

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 06:11 PM, 11 January 2022   Updated: 06:46 PM, 11 January 2022

File Photo

File Photo

The trains will ply with half the passengers from next Saturday as per the hygiene rules given by the Government to control the Covid-19 situation in the country. However, the number of trains will not be reduced this time. All the passenger trains that are running currently will be plying. 

The decision was taken at a meeting of senior officials with Railway Minister Nurul Islam at Rail Bhaban on Tuesday.

Informing that the fare would not be increased even if half the seats were vacated, Additional Director General of Railways (Operations) Sardar Shahadat Ali said emphasis would be laid on adherence to hygiene rules everywhere. Strict measures will be taken to maintain social distance in trains and stations. 

“No one will be allowed to enter the station without a mask. Hygiene will also be followed in serving food on the train and providing sleeping beds at night,” he added.

According to railway sources, tickets for half of the train’s capacity will be sold equally online and at the counter. That means 50 percent of tickets will be sold online (app / online). The remaining 50 percent of tickets will be available at the station counter.

When the COVID pandemic started in 2020, the movement of passenger trains was stopped. Then from July of that year, the train was launched with half the seats vacant. Then a few intercity trains were kept running. Due to this, the pressure of the passengers on the trains increased. Therefore, the railway authorities have decided to run passenger trains with half the seats vacant without reducing the number of trains at this stage.

At present, the railway has 355 passenger trains. Of these, 108 are intercity trains. The rest are mail, commuter and local trains. However, the railway officials said some mail, local and commuter trains were closed due to the “engine-coach crisis”.

The government has banned all kinds of social, political and religious programs and gatherings due to the increase in COVID cases in the country. A total of 11 directives including this were given in order by the Cabinet Division yesterday. There, it was said, “half the passengers would be transported in buses, trains and launches. The concerned authorities will give details of the decision in this regard. The next day, the announcement came from the railway authorities.