Trains will start running between districts in Karnataka from tomorrow, the South Western Railway (SWR) said in a statement on Wednesday. It will run two pairs of special trains, one between Bengaluru and Belagavi, and the other between Bengaluru and Mysuru, it said.
The SWR said it asked the Railway Ministry on May 18 to consider limited train movement within the state.
“The railways has considered this recommendation and has approved running of four trains and two trains each between Bengaluru and Mysuru, and Bengaluru and Belagavi. Hon’ble MoSR (Minister of State for Railways) was instrumental in resumption of trains in graded manner in Karnataka,” the SWR said in the statement.
These trains are in addition to special “Shramik” trains Karnataka to other states and Rajdhani trains between New Delhi and Bengaluru that are already running.
The new trains announced on Wednesday won’t run on Sundays, the SWR said.
Meanwhile, with fresh coronavirus cases reported from Jnanabharathi Nagar and Nagawara in Bengaluru, the civic agency BBMP has declared new containment zones.
Karnataka has so far reported 1,379 coronavirus cases. Maharashtra has the highest number of cases at 39,279, followed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi.
The state capital Bengaluru has started to look more like its pre-lockdown version. From Tuesday morning, buses were back on the road – with fewer passengers permitted. Autorickshaws were also back. And taxis can be hired once again. All this is of course outside containment zones which continue to have only essential services.
But difficulties remain. One auto driver, Chandrashekar, told NDTV, “They have allowed autos, but there are no passengers. I have had only two. We are just driving around and waiting.”
Transport Minister Laxman Savadi said, “Except for the red zones, the cantonment area, public transport will be there in all areas. There will be restrictions – only 30 people allowed in a bus. Even in taxis, Ola, Uber, autos, it will be one plus three in taxis and one plus two in autos. But on Sundays, they will not be allowed.”