The Centre has given its approval to the Indian Army to run two special military trains to meet the operational requirements on the northern and eastern borders during the extended lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday, citing unidentified officials.
The trains are scheduled to run on Friday and Saturday. The train on April 17 would run between Bengaluru-Belgaum-Secunderabad-Ambala- Jammu and the one the next day would run between Bengaluru-Belgaum-Secunderabad-Gopalpur-Howrah-New Jalpaiguri-Guwahati, an official told the newspaper.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs approved the move to bring back thousands of Army personnel who were on leave and stuck in absence of availability of public transport like railways and domestic flights after the nationwide lockdown started on March 25, according to The Week. “Only personnel due to rejoin units deployed in northern and eastern borders and have undergone mandatory quarantine period/found medically fit will be accommodated,” the Army said in its order.
The Army said it was also coordinating with the Ministry of Railways for operating additional trains in the coming weeks. Currently, the Railways is only running freight and parcel trains to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods.
The health ministry on Thursday morning confirmed a total of 12,380 coronavirus cases. The toll in the country rose to 414. Globally, Covid-19 has infected over 20.62 lakh people and caused over 1.36 lakh deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.