Kerala CM requests Railways for stoppages at major stations in state for special Rajdhani trains

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 13 (ANI): Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that he has requested the Railways for providing stoppages to special Rajdhani trains at all major stations in Kerala.

"We have requested the Railways to provide more stoppages in the State for these special Rajdhani trains as per the stops permitted for the regular Rajdhani Express. At the same time, we asked them to avoid the stoppages in other States so as to evade any risk of exposure to the passengers and run the trains as non-stop till it enters the State," Vijayan said.

The State has requested for non-AC trains to be run as fully air-conditioned coaches will aid the spread of the virus during the pandemic

He stated that currently, only three stops have been announced for these special Rajdhani trains in Kerala -Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram. People in the northern districts of the State like Kasargod and Kannur will be forced to get down at Mangalore (in Karnataka) and travel inter-state causing further hardships.

The Chief Minister also informed that elaborate testing arrangements are being set up at railway stations. After booking tickets, people should register their details on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal and apply for the pass. There will be mandatory 14 days home quarantine for those coming back by train. Those who don't have the pass will be moved to institutional quarantine centres from the railway station itself.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) A Akbar has been appointed to oversee the security checking of those arriving by trains and superintendent of police (SP) rank officers have been appointed as Special Officers at all major railway Stations.

Regarding the return of stranded Keralites in other states, the Chief Minister informed that so far 33,116 people have arrived in Kerala by road from other states. Of these, 19,000 came from Red Zone areas. Of the total 1.33 lakh people who applied for a pass, 72,800 were from the Red Zone areas. Till now, 89,950 passes have been issued and out of these, 45,157 are for people from Red Zone areas.

There is a limit on the number of people who can cross the border every day based on the number of people the check posts can handle without crowding and passes are being issued according to that.

"Home Quarantine is now allowed those coming from other states. The home quarantine should in effect be the room quarantine. You should stay in your room and not interact with others so as to avoid any risk to children, sick and the elderly at home. At this stage, no one should do beyond what is recommended by health workers and the government", the Chief Minister said.

"The police are responsible for ensuring that anyone arriving at the airport, the railway station or the border check post by road reaches their homes for quarantine or the government quarantine as instructed," he added. (ANI)