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People return home for Eid as Pakistan Railways resumes services

SAMAA | , , and - Posted: May 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: May 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
People return home for Eid as Pakistan Railways resumes services

A medical staffer wearing protective gear in a train coach prepared as a temporary quarantine facility at the Rawalpindi Railway Station during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19, March 31, 2020. Photo: Online

Many people heaved a sigh of relief after Pakistan Railways partially resumed its services on Wednesday.

Fifteen trains have been given permission to operate and take people to their homes in time for Eidul Fitr.

The department has been taking only 60% of bookings through online bookings.

Passengers have been asked to bring their own masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and soap with them. The authorities have stopped the entry of unrelated people and installed walk-through gates so that passengers can be disinfected.

The first train, the Pakistan Express, left the Rawalpindi station at 6am for Karachi, while Rail Car left for Lahore. Very few people were seen at the station in the morning.

At Karachi’s Cantt Station, a train left for Peshawar in the morning, while the Subuk Raftaar left the Lahore station for Rawalpindi with 105 passengers. The Jaffar Express left the Quetta station with 400 passengers for Peshawar at 9am.

The passengers said that the price of the train tickets was the same as before and that four people were seated in a compartment compared to six in the past.

Rescue 1122 personnel spraying disinfectant spray at Lahore Railway Station on Tuesday, May 19, 2020/ Photo: Online

“We are happy that the trains were allowed to resume their services,” a passenger said. “Now, we can spend our Eid with our loved ones.”

The Railway authorities said that they will only allow people with online bookings to enter the stations.

“I have to go to Layyah,” a woman told SAMAA TV. “But, they didn’t even let me in. They said book tickets online and I don’t know how to do that,” she complained.

Pakistan Railways suspended its services for two months to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. The services have been resumed to accommodate people who want to go back home for Eid.

A Railway worker checking thermal scanners installed at Lahore Railway Station. Photo: Online

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