Low occupancy owing to fear of coronavirus has prompted the Northeast Frontier Railway to cancel the Murkongselek-Dibrugarh Sewa Passenger and Dibrugarh-Murkongselek Passenger, Dibrugarh-Guwahati Shatabdi Express, Guwahati-Naharlagun Shatabdi Express, Naharlagun-Guwahati Shatabdi Express and Guwahati-Dibrugarh Shatabdi Express.
Sources said due to coronavirus and the recent inner-line permit issue in Arunachal Pradesh, people were not visiting the frontier state. The chief public relations officer of NF Railway, Subhanan Chanda, confirmed the cancellation of trains.
The NFR has cancelled at least 26 long and short distance trains from Friday to March 31. Ten trains have been partially cancelled. The rail authorities said the reason of cancellation is the commissioning of double line in Digaru-Jagiroad section of the Lumding division.
People are facing extreme difficulties due to the cancellation of many trains.
Chanda said the NFR had taken all possible measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus. He added that the platform ticket price had been hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 50 to control the rush. Besides, thermal screening has been started for all passengers at all stations under the NFR. Isolation ward facilities with 1,122 beds, have been kept ready at different hospitals for keeping the patients in quarantine in case of any suspicion, Chanda added.
In Kokrajhar, the district health department has stepped up measures to prevent coronavirus. Superintendent of Kokrajhar Rupnath Brahma Civil Hospital, A.S. Sarma, emphasised preventive measures and creating mass awareness about coronavirus with active surveillance at the community level for proper respiratory tract syndrome with travel history.
The Indian Red Cross Society, Dima Hasao branch, organised an anti-coronavirus awareness event in Haflong on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Rinoy Basumatary in Kokrajhar and Nikhil Kumar Mundra in Hojai