Train service full normal

প্রকাশিত: 1:10 AM, October 10, 2020

Train service full normal

Amdadul Haque:


Bangladesh Railway continued to operate train service in full-swing across the country after the six months of shut due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


Passenger intercity train movement on all routes has become completely normal. Although the passenger pressure increased at the beginning of the resumption of the train after the corona period, it has been noticed much less at present.


Moving around the Kamalapur railway station on Friday, it seen that the passenger trains are leaving for various destinations on time and passengers are now able to travel in all the seats.


Almost each train has been seen to carry 100 per cent passengers in all seats. The trains are running from Kamalapur railway station to different destinations with passengers as before. After a long time, the passengers are sitting side by side. However, the sale of standing tickets on all intercity trains has been stopped.


Earlier, the government initially suspended passenger train services to contain the spread of coronavirus on March 24.  It later allowed trains to run on condition that they would follow health guidelines and carry only 50 percent passengers to ensure physical distancing.


Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18. The government declared general holidays from March 26 to contain the transmission of the virus. It also shut down all local, mail and commuter train services.


However, the train service was suspended due to the spread of coronavirus in the country. Two months later, a limited number of intercity trains were launched on May 31. Following the instructions, inter-city, local and commuter trains have been running. Then in a few steps a total of 109 pairs or 218 passenger trains have been re-launched. In all, 362 passenger trains are running across the country.


Although the train movement is normal, the passengers are less interested in following the hygiene rules. However, the train authorities are still active in enforcing the hygiene rules of the passengers.


In the mean time, 100 per cent train tickets are being continued to be sold. Of this, 50 percent is given online and 50 percent is given over the counter. Besides, all the stations have been opened across the country.


On the other hand, the intercity Parabat Express train on the Dhaka-Sylhet rail-line, seen that many seats were empty. A Sylhet-bound passenger named Kamrul Islam, who was traveling on the Parabat Express train, told, “Since the spreading of coronavirus has not decreased in our country yet. So sitting side by side can increase our health risks. And now there are no more passengers like before.”


It was seen in Kamalapur railway station that train tickets were being sold at the counter in compliance with the hygiene rules. And passengers are now able to buy advance tickets 10 days before the departure from the counter.


Besides, Bangladesh Ansar force has been deployed to ensure the discipline of passengers and they are working to maintain distance while people buying tickets. Hand sanitizer and safety notice also seen at the entrance of the platform.


Mohammad Masud Sarwar, station manager of Kamalapur railway station, told, “After many days, the trains are running with 100 per cent passengers. We are encouraging passengers to adhere the hygiene rules.”


He said, “50 per cent tickets are being sold online through mobile app and 50 per cent tickets are being sold from station counters. Passengers will be able to buy tickets online from 6 am and at the counter from 8 am.”