SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY
INITIATIVES TAKEN BY SER DURING THE NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN TO COMBAT COVID 19 PANDEMIC
Kolkata, 26th May, 2020
To prevent the spread of Coronavirus infection, South Eastern Railway has come forward with a number of initiatives to confront the national crisis.Though regular passenger train services have remained suspended during the nationwide lockdown but freight train services continued along with Parcel Express Trains to maintain uninterrupted supply of essential commodities to different parts of the country. Apart from this, Shramik Special Trains are also being run for the benefit of stranded migrant wokers, students, patients etc. As per the directives of Railway Board, South Eastern Railwayhas geared up its machinery and adopted the following preventive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic: -
In-House Production of Face Mask & Sanitizer
As a precautionary measure to fight COVID-19, SER is producing reusable face masks and hand sanitizer in its four divisions viz. Kharagpur, Adra, Ranchi and Chakradharpur as well as at Kharagpur Workshop. As many as 1,13,176 reusable face masks and 8,219 litres of hand sanitizer have been produced so far. These have been distributed amongst the frontline staff like loco pilots&guardsof Freight, Parcel and Special trains to ensure their protection. It has also been planned to distributethese masks among all other employees of South Eastern Railway.
Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In order to curb the spread of Novel Coronavirus, South Eastern Railway has started manufacturing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Kits for support of railway doctors, para-medical staff and other health care personnel. The kits are being manufactured mainly at Kharagpur Workshop and Kharagpur Division in association with SER Women’s Welfare Organisation, Kharagpur. The PPE Kit includes Face Cover, Eye Shield, NS-95 Mask, Coverall Gown with hood, Shoe Cover, Gloves etc. As many as 3,752 PPEs have been manufacturedso far as per approved quality assurance plan.
Distribution of Meals to Poor and Needy People
In view of Nation-wide Lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, South Eastern Railway has come forward to fulfil its social commitments and responsibilities. South Eastern Railway, tillnow has distributed 3,85,465 free and hygienic meals to the destitute, poor and needy people nearby and outside railway areas at Headquarters & all over its four Divisions viz. Kharagpur, Adra, Chakradharpur and Ranchi.These free meals have been arranged and distributed by Security, Commercial and other departments along with IRCTC. Various associations viz. South Eastern Railway Women’s
Welfare Organisation (SERWWO), SER Bharat Scouts & Guides, St.John Ambulance Brigade, Civil Defence, etc have also joined hands in this mass food distribution activities.
Modification of Passenger Coaches into Isolation/Quarantine Coaches
South Eastern Railway has completed the work for modification of 338 passenger coaches into Isolation/Quarantine Coaches till now to accommodate patients in view of outbreak of COVID-19. The modified coaches have been equipped with necessary facilitiesfor the Corona affected people. These have been modified at Santragachi Depot, Kharagpur Workshop, Tatanagar Depot and Hatia Depot under guidance of Medical Department of South Eastern Railway.
Installation of “AarogyaSetu”App.
Employees of South Eastern Railway are being encouraged to download the “AarogyaSetu” app for themselves and their family members. Employees are being counselled and encouraged to reap the benefits of the tracker in the App to keep their family members safe. Almost all SER employees along with their family members have installed the App.
Running of Time Tabled Parcel Express Trains
To maintain uninterrupted supply of essential commodities like vegetables, fruits, fish, egg, grocery items, medicines, medical equipment etc South Eastern Railway has been running a number of Time Tabled Parcel Express Trains towards different parts of the country.The Parcel Express Trains are running between Shalimar-Ranchi, Howrah-KSR Bengaluru, Shalimar-Mumbai CSMT, Tatanagar-Itwari, Howrah-Secunderabad and Shalimar-Porbander. These trains will continue to run up to 30thMay-2ndJune, 2020 to ensure swift and efficient transport of utilities. Till now, SER has run 1097 trips of Parcel Express Trains and handled 16,269tonnes of parcel traffic. 24X7 Helpline Numbers have been opened to enable the interested customers to avail booking of Parcel Express Trains.
Running of Shramik Special Trains
Indian Railways is running Shramik Special Trains since 01.05.2020 to bring back stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students, patients etc. from different places of the country to their respective home states. As a result of the initiative taken by the Ministry of Railways in co-ordination with respective State Governments, so far 76 Shramik Special Trains arrived withstranded migrant workers at different stations under South Eastern Railway’s jurisdiction. These trains have arrived at Howrah, Hatia, Ranchi, Bokaro Steel City, Tatanagar, Kharagpur, Bankura, Purulia, Balasore and Hijli stations under SER jurisdiction from different parts of the country viz. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala etc. In addition, 3Shramik Special Trains with stranded migrant workers and others have originated from SER’s jurisdiction so far.One Special left Hatia Station for Jaipur on 14th May, 2020 and anothertwo Shramik Special left for Bikaner and Udhampur from Shalimar station on 17thand 22nd May 2020.
Intensive Sanitisation and Cleanliness Drive
In view of the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, South Eastern Railway has undertaken intensive sanitisation, cleanliness and disinfection drives in its four Divisions and Headquarters to prevent the spread the Novel Coronavirus. The disinfection and sanitisation drives have been carried out at all offices of Headquarters and Divisions along with station premises, trains etc. Though this is a continuous process but cleaning and sanitization work has now been intensified due to this deadly Coronavirus. Direct contact areas like railings, handles, door knobs,lift’s gate and buttons, escalators etc. are being rigorously cleaned and disinfected on regular measure. In order to ensure hygienic and safe working environment, SER has deployed trained house-keeping staff and is laying stress on mechanizedcleaning and sanitizing which is being monitored by apex level.
GRADED RESTORATION OF PASSENGER SERVICES
The following steps have been taken so far for restoration of passenger services in a phased manner: -
Running of Special Trains
As decided by Ministry of Railways, AC Special Train Services have started from 12th May, 2020 on specific routes. These Special Trains include 02454/02453 New Delhi-Ranchi-New Delhi Bi-weekly Rajdhani Superfast Special and 02823/02824 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Special which originate/terminate/pass through SER’s jurisdiction.
Announcement of 9 Pairs of special trains
With a view to clear stranded passengers at various places across the country due to lockdown, Ministry of Railways have decided to run 100 pairs of Special Trains all over Indian Railways. Out of these 100 pairs, South Eastern Railway will run 9 pairs of Special Trains starting on different nominated days w.e.f 1st June, 2020. These Special Trains will run as per the existing route, timings, stoppages and compositions of regular Mail/Express, Duronto and Jan Shatabdi trains. These Special Trains are: -
02245/02246 Howrah-Yesvantpur-Howrah Superfast Special, 02213/02214 Shalimar-Patna-Shalimar Special, 02021/02022 Howrah-Barbil-Howrah Superfast Special, 02810/02809 Howrah-CSMT (Mumbai)-Howrah Superfast Special, 02834/02833 Howrah-Ahmedabad-Howrah Superfast Special, 08183/08184 Tatanagar-Danapur-Tatanagar Superfast Special, 02703/02704 Howrah-Secunderabad-Howrah Special, 02073/02074 Howrah-Bhubaneswar-Howrah Special and 02365/02366 Patna-Ranchi-Patna Special.
Opening of Ticket Booking Counters (PRS)
South Eastern Railway has opened reservation counters for booking of reserved tickets considering the need of the general public for making the task of ticket booking easy for all prospective travelers from all parts of India in reserved trains.PRS counters at 26 stations in four Divisions have been opened in SER jurisdiction w.e.f 22.05.2020.