Tuesday May 19, 2020
The Ministry of Railways has issued the Standard Operating Procedures for those travelling via trains as they resume operations partially from May 20, an official informed on Tuesday.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Railways Amir Nisar, the trains will get back on tracks after a hiatus of two months from tomorrow.
During the first phase of resumption of operations, 30 trains will begin their journey from the provinces, he said.
Providing a breakdown of the train journeys, the official said that the first train will depart at 6am from Rawalpindi for Karachi.
Amir continued that the second train will leave at 7am from Rawalpindi for Lahore, while the third one will leave at 730am for Lahore as well.
Speaking regarding the precautionary measures, the DS Railways said that the SOPs will be strictly implemented.
The passengers are instructed to reach the station an hour earlier and no visitor will be allowed to enter the station premises for seeing off passengers.
Nisar said that only 60% passengers will fill a train, while 40% will remain empty.
The passengers will wear masks and the railways officials will provide them with sanitisers during the journey, added the DS.
For a first-time violation of an SOP, there will be a fine of Rs500 while for the second time there will be a fine of Rs1000, he said.
Upon a third-time violation, the passenger will be off-loaded, said Nisar.
The official said that the sales of tickets will be online only as reservation offices are shut down.
A day earlier, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said Prime Minister Imran Khan has given the permission to partially resume train services from Wednesday on the condition that the SOPs were adhered to as the country battles the novel coronavirus.
Rashid, addressing a press conference, said: "No one will be allowed inside the stations without having a ticket. Nearly 7,000 police officers have been deployed at [the stations in] Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta and an emergency has been imposed."
"If the situation [of the coronavirus pandemic] remains stable during the current month, then all train services will be resumed across the country from June 1," Rashid said.