The Southern Railway, on Friday, January 7, announced that the special suburban and EMU rail services will function in Chennai on Sundays, during the weekend curfew. According to reports, the Southern Railway has advised passengers to travel following all the COVID-19 protocols.
The government had earlier announced that the metro rail will not function on Sundays and during the night curfew. However, the public will be allowed to travel during 10 pm and 5 am on all days only if they are travelling to and from bus and train stations and airports, and will have to show proof of travel. All public transport, including metro, buses etc, will function at 50% capacity.
The Tamil Nadu government, on January 5, announced a set of new restrictions in view of the COVID-19 surge in the state. This includes a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am and a lockdown on Sundays. The restrictions came into force from January 6. During the night and weekend curfew, no shops, hotels or any other establishments will be permitted to function.
However, essential services, including private and bus services, milk and newspaper delivery, hospitals, ATMs, petrol and diesel pumps etc. will be allowed to function.
In view of the full lockdown announced by the Tamil Nadu government to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Chennai division of Southern Railway has revised the schedule of suburban trains on Sundays with effect from January 9.
The Southern Railway has appealed passengers taking suburban trains to adhere to COVID-19 behaviour and extend their cooperation, a press release said in Chennai on Friday.
Accordingly on Sundays, 113 EMU services would be run between Chennai Central - Arakkonam Sections, 60 services in the Chennai Central - Gummidipoondi route, 36 services in Chennai Beach - Velachery MRTS section and 120 services in the Chennai Beach - Chengalpet sections. EMU specials would also be operated between Avadi-Pattabiram Military Siding 'E' Depot, Pattabiram-Pattabiram Military 'E' Siding Depot, the release said.
In total, 343 train services would be operated on Sundays, the press release said.
Appealing the passengers to follow all COVID-19 protocols, Southern Railway said people should avoid overcrowding and follow queues while boarding and disembarking from trains. Passengers should maintain physical distancing while travelling and also in station premises, the release added.
Further, TNPSC (Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission) examination to be held on Sunday was postponed due to the inconvenience caused by lack of commuting and food facilities. The revised order was released on Friday. Earlier, TNPSC had announced that both the scheduled examinations will be conducted as usual.
With PTI inputs