Bhubaneswar: In view of the spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy today wrote to Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav urging him to minimize operation of coaching trains in the state with immediate effect till July end.
Stating that majority of the COVID positive cases in the state have travel history to Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai etc, the Chief Secretary recommended the Railway Board Chairman to adopt the following measures for operation of coaching trains in the state so as to contain the disease.
(1) No increase of any coaching trains, either originating/terminating or passing through with stoppages in Odisha, be permitted beyond the current level of operations till July 31
(2) Any further new trains introduced between stations outside the state and passing through may not be given any stoppage in Odisha.
(3) The occupation of Special Mail express trains require to be factored and frequency of the existing trains to Delhi and Howrah/ Sealdah may be reduced from the present level.
(4) Stoppages of currently running Howrah Chennai Mail be limited to Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road and Berhampur railway stations. And, stoppages of Howrah-Mumbai Express train be limited to Rourkela and Jharsuguda railway stations (Barbil permitted for the branch line). All other stoppages for originating as well as through trains to be withdrawn till July 31.
(5) Only Intercity and other intra-state trains may operate with all stoppages as notified earlier.
Currently, Odisha is dealing with six pairs of terminating Coaching Mail/Express Special Trains and four pairs of such special trains passing the state with various stoppages in Odisha. Besides, intercity coaching trains have also been permitted within the state, the letter read.