According to an order issued by the railways on Saturday, not wearing masks on railway premises and trains shall now be an offence under the Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules, 2012, and can attract a fine of up to Rs 500. The order would come into effect immediately for six months until further instructions are issued in this regard.
"One of the specific guideline is to wear masks in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought out by Indian Railways on May 11, 2020, says that it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover/ mask at entry and during travel," the order said.
"In view of the COVID-19 situation, controlling spitting and act of similar nature due to any person not wearing mask and entering railway premises (including trains), is important to avoid creation of unclean and unhygienic conditions which may cause danger to life and public health. Accordingly, to prevent spitting and act of similar nature and thus, to ensure wearing of face masks or face cover by all persons at railway premises (including trains), fines (up to 500) under Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules, 2012, shall be imposed by railway officials...," it stated.
This is the latest measure taken up by the Railways to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 protocol issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs. The tally of COVID-19 cases in the country is now at 16,79,740.