New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) In the first week of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Indian Railways transported over 4 lakh wagons of essential items across India to meet the damands, officials said on Friday.
A senior Railway Ministry official said that the national transporter ran uninterrupted freight trains operations to ensure the availability of essential commodities throughout the country.
The official said that from March 24 to April 2, the railways transported more than 4 lakh wagons of essential items. Of these, more than 2.23 lakh wagons carried essential commodities like food grains, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, onions, fruits and vegetables, petroleum products, coal, fertilisers etc.
The official said that the railways staff are working at various goods sheds, stations and control offices to ensure that the supply of essential items does not get affected.
The Indian Railways has suspended the services of all passenger, mail and express trains to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19) from March 24 to April 14.
Only freight and special parcel trains are running to ensure the supply of essential items across the country.
The railways has also suspended production at its workshops and other production units and has started preparing sanitisers, medical beds, IV stands, masks, aprons, coverall and other items required by medical professionals in the fight against the dreaded virus.
The official said that till April 1, Indian Railways had produced a total of 2.8 lakh masks and 25,806 liters of sanitiser at its different production units and PSUs.
He said that some of the railway zones has taken lead in this regard like the Central Railway, which has prepared 22,580 masks and 2,693 liters of sanitiser, Western Railway with 46,313 masks and 700 liters of sanitiser, North Central Railway with 26,567 masks and 3,100 liters of sanitiser and Eastern Railway with 14,800 masks and 2,620 liters of sanitiser.