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Railway gets tough on passengers travelling without masks

Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, the Tiruchi Railway Divisional authorities have begun imposing fines on those found not wearing masks on railway premises consequent to a directive from the Railway Board, New Delhi.

The drive commenced from Saturday with the railway authorities slapping a fine amount of ₹500 each on 14 persons found without wearing masks in railway stations and on board trains across Tiruchi division to begin with. The fine was imposed under the Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises), Rules 2012.

The Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) have been instructed to impose fines on those found not wearing masks in the railway station and on board trains, a senior railway official here said. The Tiruchi Railway Division had been insisting for quite some time on the need to wear masks at railway station premises and on board trains in the wake of the pandemic. Stickers and boards alerting public to wear masks and containing information about the fine amount for not wearing masks have been pasted in major stations falling under the limits of Tiruchi Division including at Tiruchi junction, Villupuram junction, Mayiladuthurai junction, Tiruvarur junction and Puducherry.

The drive against those not wearing masks would continue as per the Railway Board directive, the official said adding that the move was aimed at making the public adhere to this precautionary measure in the wake of spike in COVID-19 cases. The Railway Board in a communication to General Managers of all Zonal Railways issued on April 17 had directed railway officials to impose fine on persons found not wearing masks in railway premises including trains. The Board had asked the officials to take action with immediate effect for a period of six months till further instructions were issued in this regard.

The communication further said Indian Railways was taking various measures to contain the spread of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time.

Another senior railway official said all coaches of express trains coming from different destinations and terminating at Tiruchi junction were being disinfected after arrival at the broad gauge coaching complex here for primary maintenance. The formation was being disinfected before it was moved to the platform for its journey again. The locomotive and the guard van were also being disinfected as a safety measure in addition to the compartments.

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