Indian Railways has committed itself to provide essential supplies like food grains, milk, pulses, oil etc. to people across India during the ongoing 21-day lockdown.

To accomplish this task, Indian Railways is running freight trains 24×7, through which the supply of these commodities is expected to be maintained. The Railway Board recently declared that food grains, sugar, salt, milk, edible oil, fruits and vegetables, petroleum products, coal and more such essential items are being loaded at the railway terminals across the network, for being delivered to different states of India.

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus infection, Indian Railways had temporarily stopped the services of its passenger, mail/express trains as well as suburban trains and intercity trains till March 15.

COVID-19 lockdown: Steps Indian Railways has taken to supply essential goods to people

In the time of lockdown in India, the Indian Railways staff are working round the clock at various goods sheds, railway stations and control offices to make sure that the network of supply of the essential items is kept in proper order.

The railways has taken some crucial steps to ensure the supply of essential items and hassle-free operations of the railway network. On March 23, about 474 rakes of Indian Railways transported food grains, sugar, milk, salt, and other essential supplies.

Indian Railways is coordinating with different state governments to deliver goods in a timely manner even when there are several various restrictions on movement imposed by the Central Government in the wake of COVID-19.

The Railway Board has cut down the wharfage rates and demurrage for goods and parcels at half the given rates. Furthermore, the free time for loading and unloading the trains and also for removal of the consignments from the railways has been doubled.

Reportedly, staff members of the railways who have been deployed at the control rooms to supervise the operation of freight trains, maintenance and line staff, medical staff in railway hospitals, security personnel are working round the clock to keep the trains running as scheduled.

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