All trains, including Mumbai locals, cancelled till March 31: Indian Railways
In an unprecedented move, Indian Railways has cancelled all trains from midnight of March 22 till March 31 in a bid to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
According to an official release, all trains including mail, express or intercity trains (including premium) stand cancelled till the midnight of March 31.
Even suburban services, including Mumbai locals, will be halted till month-end as Indian Railways attempts to reduce crowd movement and enforce social distancing across the national carrier.
“In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19, it has been decided that all passenger train services on Indian Railways including Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, Passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway, etc shall be cancelled till the 2400 hrs of March 31, 2020. However, bare minimum level of services of suburban trains and Kolkata Metro Rail shall continue up to 2400hrs of March 22, 2020,” Railways said in a statement.
Notably, inter-city trains that have already commenced their journey will not be halted mid-route and will continue uninterrupted till they reach their destination.
“Trains which had already commenced their journey, prior to 0400 hrs of March 22, 2020, will run up to their destinations. Adequate arrangements shall be made for the passengers, who have commenced their journey during the travel and at their destinations,” the release said.
Only freight trains have been excluded and will be allowed to run till March 31. “To ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country, movement of goods trains will continue,” the release added.
Strengthening precautions against COVID-19, Railways has decided that no passenger train will run up to 31st March.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 22, 2020
The national carrier will be providing full refund to passengers for all cancellations. It will also make adequate arrangements to ensure the refunds are provided in a hassle-free way.
The announcement comes a day after Konkan divisional commissioner announced that suburban services will continue to run, albeit only for people who are engaged in proving essential services or need to travel for medical aid or emergency.
However, as per the latest announcement, all suburban services also stand cancelled till the end of the month.
The suspension in services comes barely two days after Maharashtra Chief Minister announced a closure of all non-essential shops and workplaces in major cities in Maharashtra.