Pakistan Railways is mulling restoration of passenger traffic operations from May 10 under certain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) introduced to ensure efficient and safe travel for commuters as well as train & railway staff in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Pakistan Railways is considering the restoration of passenger traffic operations tentatively w.e.f. 10th of instant subject to approval of the competent authority. To ensure the efficient, safe train operation, the proposed SOPs need to be implemented in their true letter and spirit,” according to a letter issued by the PR Headquarters to all divisional superintendents on Tuesday.
For this purpose, the ministry said, availability of required stock and other relevant resources of operational requirements and passenger amenities needed to be ensured.
“It is further directed that a full-dress rehearsal in this context shall also be undertaken on 07-05-2020, to identify the effectiveness of the operational arrangements and identify the weaknesses, if any, so as to enable all concerned to ensure complete rectification of the weaknesses and deficiencies prior to commence all the passenger traffic operation as per schedule.”
In another letter, the PR also asked the Senior General Manager to review the SOPs and give feedback within three days for their finalization; otherwise “the SOPs sent by this Ministry will be considered as final.”
Pakistan Railways had announced the closure of all passenger trains across the country on March 24 in line with the national strategy to contain the spread of deadly virus.