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Trains to run at half capacity from Jan 15

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 12 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladesh Railway (BR) will carry passengers at half capacity from January 15 in line with a new restriction imposed by the government to check the surge in coronavirus cases.

The Railways Ministry took the decision on Tuesday.

Other modes of public transports will also run at half capacity from Thursday as the cabinet Division on Monday issued a notice in this regard.

Railway sources said they took the decision to implement the new decision from January 15 as the tickets of trains had been sold out in advance before the announcement of the restriction.

It was also decided that BR would operate all the 355 trains timely maintaining the health guidelines and none would be allowed in rail stations without wearing face masks and special measures will be taken while serving foods and making sleeping arrangements in trains. BR has issued an office order in this regard from 15 January and it said some 25 per cent rail tickets would be sold in counters while 25 per cent will be issued online. Railway has revoked, except those were approved earlier, the emergency and pass quotas in selling ticket, the officer order also said.

Earlier, in a contract signing ceremony, Railways Minister Sujan said BR had to take preparation for implementing the new restrictions imposed by the government. “Railway usually issues the ticket for five days in advance. There is a relation of sale of the ticket with the operation of trains. So, we need time to implement the decisions of the government,” he also said.

During the contract signing ceremony, EPIC Properties Limited signed a 40 years agreement with BR for the construction of a shopping mall with a hotel cum guest house on 0.452 acres of railway land near Chattogram station.

As per the contract, the company will build the establishment including hotel, shopping mall, convention centre and offices in four years and pay upfront premium Tk 16 million and will be paying an estimated amount of contract fee in 40 years.

The project is being implemented following the Design Build Finance Operation and Transfer model of Public Private Partnership. After 40 years the Railway will be the owner of the establishment.

Railways Minister Sujan said, “We have many abandoned land in Chattogram. We will develop the land in the model so that the railways can increase its income and reduce the expenditure deficit.”