The new rule came into immediate effect and will extend for six months until further notice.

Two passengers lying on bunks in a train Both are wearing face masks and looking at their mobile phonesFile photo | PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 09:34

The Ministry of Railways on Saturday said a fine of Rs 500 would be imposed on passengers who are found not wearing masks or not adhering to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), be it on railway station premises or during a train journey. Fines upto Rs 500 under Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules 2012 shall be imposed by railway officials authorized for the purpose from persons not wearing face mask/cover in Railway premises (including trains), a release from the Ministry of Railways says. 

This is the latest in a slew of measures that the railways has taken to ensure compliance of the various COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs to restrict the spread of the virus.

The new rule of the railway comes into immediate effect and extend for six months until further notice, the press release said. A station master or the station manager, Railway Protection Force personnel and an officer not below the rank of ticket collector have been authorised to collect the fines. Moreover, those who spit in public will also be fined. "It has interalia been enlisted under Prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the railway persons that no person shall spit in any railway premises except in such facilities or conveniences specifically provided for any of these purposes," the release said.

A record single-day rise of 2,34,692 cases and 1,341 fatalities have pushed India's COVID-19 tally to 1,45,26,609 and the death toll due to the viral disease to 1,75,649, the health ministry said on Saturday. The number of active coronavirus cases in the country has surpassed the 16-lakh mark, the ministry's data updated at 8 am showed. Registering a steady increase for the 38th day in a row, the tally of active COVID-19 cases has climbed to 16,79,740 in the country, accounting for 11.56 per cent of its total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 87.23 per cent. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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