In the wake of increasing cases of coronavirus, Ministry of Railways has decided to use the manufacturing facilities of its production units for the treatment of affected people.
Railway Board has issued necessary instructions to the general managers of these production units to explore the feasibility of manufacture of items like simple hospital beds, medical trolleys for hospitals and quarantine facilities like stretchers, hospital footsteps, hospital bedside lockers, washbasins with stands, ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit like masks, sanitisers, water tanks etc.
“The production facilities like Chittaranjan loco works, Chittaranjan, Integral coach factory, Chennai, Rail coach factory, Kapurthala, diesel loco works, Varanasi, rail wheel factory, Yelehanka to manufacture essential items which can be utilised for the treatment of affected people by this pandemic,” it said in a statement.
Railways have already suspended the operations of passenger train services across the country till 31st March 2020. Currently, Indian Railways is operating only freight trains across the country. Indian Railways is making all efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities through its uninterrupted freight services.
During the situation of lockdown in various states, Indian Railways Staff deployed at various good sheds, stations and control offices is working on 24/7 basis to ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not gets affected.
On March 23rd, a total 474 rakes were loaded for essential commodities like food grains, salt, edible oil, sugar, milk, fruits and vegetables, onion, coal and petroleum products. During the day, total 891 rakes were loaded by Indian Railways which also includes other important commodities like 121 rakes of Iron ore, 48 rakes of steel, 25 rakes of cement, 28 rakes of fertiliser, 106 rakes of container etc, it said.
The statement further sad that a close coordination is being maintained with the State Governments so that rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay, amidst various restriction imposed in the wake of Covid-19.
To monitor the uninterrupted movement of essential commodities over Indian Railway system, an Emergency freight control is working in the Ministry of Railways. Freight movement is being closely monitored by officials at very senior level, a senior railway official said.
The official further sad that Indian Railways staff deployed in control rooms for operation of freight trains, line staff, maintenance staff, security personnel and medical staff in Railway hospitals is working continuously 24/7.