WB govt writes to Rlys, seeks running of sufficient number of suburban trains

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Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) The West Bengal government on Tuesday requested Eastern Railways (ER) and South Eastern Railways(SER) to run sufficient number of suburban trains connecting different nodes with Howrah and Sealdah stations for daily passengers while strictly observing the COVID-19 safety norms, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The state government in a communication to the railway authorities again assured of providing all forms of necessary support in this regard, he said.

'All the points had been discussed during Monday's meeting and we will have a final discussion on Thursday. We have repeatedly asked both ER and SER authorities to ensure that passengers strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocol of wearing masks, maintain required physical distance and sanitise while resuming the services. We will extend all forms of assistance to them. We have sent a communication in this regard,' the official said.

The state government and senior ER and SER officials had met on Monday and discussed options on how to resume local train services following the safety protocols of the COVID-19.

They will meet again on November 5 to take a final call on when and how to resume local train services in the state.

Sources in the state secretariat said that senior officials of ER and SER are likely to hold a meeting with home secretary H K Dwivedi and other bureaucrats on Wednesday in connection with the resumption of local train services.

Railway authorities had said they are keen to resume the suburban train services in the state allowing 50 per cent of passenger strength and ensuring that COVID-19 safety protocols are followed strictly.

Initially, Railway authorities are targeting to resume the operations with 10-20 per cent of the normal services which will be slowly increased to 25 per cent. PTI SCH KK KK KK