CHENNAI: In response to the request from the Tamil Nadu government, Southern Railway has decided to permit essential services staff authorised by the state government to travel in limited number of suburban trains — run as workmen specials by the Chennai division of Southern Railway — from October 5.
Details of these train services would be displayed at the stations, an official release said.
The state government has nominated an official as the nodal officer for this purpose, who will authorise and issue specific travel permission to essential services staff to travel in the workmen special trains.
The specific travel permission shall have details such as name, designation, department /office and others.
This travel permission in original would be accepted by the railways only when presented along with the photo ID card of the person issued by his/her office, the release stated.
There will be two levels of checks of passengers at stations. First check will be done by the personnel of Government Railway Police/Railway Protection Force at the entry of a railway station and the second check at the entry to the platforms by the railway ticket checking staff.
Sanitization of rakes at appropriate frequency will be done by railways. Passengers are requested to pay attention to the regular announcements made at stations regarding the train services and follow Covid-19 precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing travelling on trains and also at stations.
Tickets will be issued only to essential services staff authorised by the nodal officer.
Both single journey and season tickets will be issued at the booking counters at all sub-urban stations through UTS (unreserved ticketing system).
The essential services staff should carry the specific travel permission issued by the nodal officer in original as well as their photo ID card while entering the station and also while travelling.
At stations with more than one booking counter, one counter will be earmarked for season tickets. And at stations with only one counter, only single journey tickets will be issued during peak hours. Season tickets will be issued after peak hours.
If the staff authorised to travel have season tickets, their validity will be extended to the extent of days lost during the suspension of suburban services.
Southern Railway noted that no tickets will be given to the public.
The norms to be followed will include thermal screening for all the passengers. Passengers will be permitted only if their temperature is within limits after thermal screening at the entry.
Appropriate restrictions will be imposed, as deemed necessary, to prevent overcrowding of passengers at stations and on trains.