New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian Railways on Sunday evening announced that it will gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains.

In a statement, the national transporter said that booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11 May and will be available only on the IRCTC website at irctc.co.in. The Indian Railways noted that ticket booking counters at stations will remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) will be issued. 

These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi, the Indian Railways said.

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"Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India. Booking in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11th May," Union Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

The Indian Railways also said that it will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as "Shramik Special" for stranded migrants. 

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It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train, adding that further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course, the Indian Railways noted.

However, passengers who will have confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter railway stations, the Railways said while adding that it will be mandatory for passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the trains.

Further details regarding train schedule will be issued in due course, the Railways added.

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The Indian Railways had suspended all passenger train services on March 25, after the government imposed the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

However, the government has started providing relaxations. While announcing the third phase of the coronavirus lockdown, the government had said that relaxations will be given after categorization of districts into 'red', 'orange' and 'green' zones. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma