No plan to stop or curtail train services, number to be increased on demand: Railways

New Delhi, April 9 (PTI): The railways on Friday said there is no plan to curtail or stop train services and assured passengers that trains will be provided on demand amidst reports of migrant workers rushing to their hometowns, reminiscent of the days following the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

A number of officials, including Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma, General Manager, Southern Railway John Thomas and the chief public relations officers (CPROs) of the Northern and Central Railways, reached out to the media to deny reports of an exodus of migrant workers to their hometowns via trains.

Sharma assured the passengers that there is no dearth of trains and the railways is ready to put them into service on a short notice.

"There is no plan to curtail or stop train services. We will run as many services as required. There is no cause for alarm. We can run trains immediately on demand if there is any rush. This rush is normal during the summer season and we have already announced trains to clear the rush," he said.

With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, a sudden surge in passenger movement at railway stations was reported from across the country. Many travellers, speaking to the media, said the fear of an imminent lockdown was the reason behind their trips.

"There is no shortage of trains for those who want to travel. I assure everyone that trains will be provided on demand," Sharma said.

The Railway Board chairman also ruled out the need for a COVID-negative certificate to travel by train.

He said the railways has not received any communique yet from Maharashtra to stop or curtail the movement of trains in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Thomas appealed to the public not to believe in the rumours doing the rounds of social media regarding overcrowding at railway stations. He urged them to avoid sharing old videos and false reports on social media platforms.