Bangladesh government has planned to restart all the intercity train services consecutively from 16 August.
The decision was taken in a meeting attended by railways minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan and Bangladesh Railway’s director general Md Shamsuzzaman along with other high-ups.
An official, who was present at the meeting, told Prothom Alo that the operations wing of the Bangladesh Railway had been asked to prepare a list of passenger trains that could resume services on the basis of demand and importance.
Despite the resumption, tough health safety measures will be in place and half of the trains’ seats will be kept vacant, the official added.
Sales of ticket at counters will remain suspended as the Dhaka airport, Tongi, Joydevpur and Narsingdi stations are still shut. The authorities will take time to reopen the stations.
“The number of intercity trains will be raised from 16 August. We’ve plans to resume the services of all intercity trains within 30 August,” Bangladesh Railway director general Shamsuzzaman told Prothom Alo after the meeting.
The government shut the services of passenger trains on 24 March following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country. Later, the government restarted the operations of just eight pairs of intercity trains on 31 May. A total of 11 pairs of intercity trains were included to the fleet on 3 June. At the moment, 17 pairs of passenger trains are in operations as two pairs of trains were later dropped due to the shortage of passengers.
According to the operations wing of Bangladesh Railway, as many as 100 intercity trains used to run during normal time. Now, 66 grounded trains will resume operations gradually within 30 August.
The railway authorities also want to resume services of all intercity trains by 25 August and reopen the closed stations afterwards.