In continuation of the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Indian Railways has started producing mask and sanitisers in its all zonal railways, production units and Public Sector Units (PSUs). It has produced 2,87,704 masks and 25,806 liters of sanitiser till April 1.
“Out of the total masks, the Central Railway produced 22,580 masks and 2,693 liters of sanitiser, Western Railway produced 46,313 masks and 700 liters of sanitiser, North Central Railway 26,567 masks and 3,100 liters of sanitiser and Eastern Railway produced 14,800 masks and 2,620 liters of sanitiser,” the railways said in a statement.
The freight operations of Indian Railways are running 24X7 to maintain essentials and goods supplies, operation and maintenance staff are working round the clock. To ensure safety of these staff and boost their morale, following is being ensured at all workplaces as masks and hand sanitisers are being made available to all staff coming on duty.
Indian Railways has geared up its entire machinery in a big way to take comprehensive measures on prevention of COVID-19 virus infection. The preparedness levels are being reviewed by Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav.
To ensure availability of essential commodities through the country by running uninterrupted 24X7 freight trains operations. More than 4 lakh wagons has carried supplies to keep the supply chain functional from March 24 to April 2. Of these, more than 2.23 lakh wagons carried essential commodities like food grains, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, onions, fruits and vegetables, petroleum products, coal, fertilizers etc. throughout the country.
Indian Railways Staff are working at various goods sheds, stations and control offices on 24X7 basis to ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not get affected, it said, adding that locomotive pilots and guards are efficiently running the trains. Key maintenance staff of track, signaling, overhead equipment, locomotives, coaches and wagons is maintaining the infrastructure in good fettle to ensure smooth running of freight trains.
Institutional mechanism has been put in place to escalate issues faced by Zonal Railways in goods train operations and loading/unloading of rakes at goods sheds/parcel sidings to control room Set up by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on real time basis through Railway officers as part of the MHA Control Room, it said.
“Transportation of essential items like medical supplies, medical equipment, food, etc in small parcel sizes is going to be very important during the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19. In order to fill in this vital need, Indian Railways has made railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation needs of E-Commerce entities and other customers including State governments,” it added.
Besides, Indian Railways has set up 11,000 beds for quarantine purposes and around 5,000 beds have been exclusively earmarked for treatment of COVID-19 patients.