Railways stops sale of platform tickets at all Delhi stations as city enters lockdown

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) The Railways Monday said it has stopped with immediate effect the sale of platform tickets at all major stations in the national capital in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Northern Railways' decision came hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown -- from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26 -- which he said was necessary to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases as the city’s health system was stretched to its limits.

'Stoppage of Sale of Platform tickets includes major railway stations of Delhi Area i. e. New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar Terminal, etc.

'Due to surge in COVID’19 cases, Delhi Division of Northern Railway has decided to stop the sale of platform tickets with immediate effect till further orders to regulate the entry of passengers at platforms and station premises,' Divisional Railway Manager RN Singh said in a tweet.

The national capital's health system is stretched to its limit with around 25,500 cases coming up every day.

The Railways said the trains already in operation would continue to run.

'Railways is there to take the last passenger to the destination. There are enough trains running and most of them at very less capacity utilization. All trains will continue to run,' Railway spokesperson DJ Narain said.

Reacting to reports of surge in crowds at stations, Narain posted photographs of major stations in Delhi during peak hour highlighting the systematic way in which the services were being run.

The Northern Railways Monday also announced that four summer special trains will also be run to Saharsa, Bhagalpur, Raxaul and Darbhanga.

'Rush and crowd happen when there is a speculation that trains would not be available at all or will be stopped... There is no such situation now. Trains are not going to be stopped. The public knows that if they don't get to travel today, they can go the next day or later on. Even under the curfew guidelines, one is allowed to travel to the station with a valid ticket. There is nothing to panic.

“Railways is there to take the last passenger to the destination. There are enough trains running and most of them at very less capacity utilization. Wherever there is higher demand on any route , Railways is adding and will continue to add to see that the waiting list is minimum or nil.

'There is no reason for anyone to panic and speculate. One should book tickets and go to their destination in comfort. Trains will continue to run,” he said. PTI ASG TIR TIR