The Ministry of Railways on Sunday announced that wearing a Face Cover/Mask is compulsory in Railway Premises, including trains and it will impose a fine of up to ₹500 on passengers for not wearing a mask.
The Indian Railways has taken this decision as a measure to contain the spread of the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time.
It is important to note that one of the specific guidelines is to wear a face mask/cover in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought out by IR on 11.05.2020 in para 2.3 (ix) says that “it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover/mask at entry and during travel”.
In this connection, attention is invited to Commercial Circular no. 76 of 2012 dated 14.12.2012 regarding enforcement of Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules 2012 vide Gazette Notification No. GSR 846 (E) Date 26.11.2012 Vide para 3 (1) (b) of the said Gazette Notification.
It has interalia been enlisted under Prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the railway persons that no Person shall spit in any railway premises except in such facilities or conveniences specifically provided for any of these purposes.
In view of the Covid-19 situation, controlling spitting and act of similar nature due to any person not wearing a mask and entering Railway premises (including trains) is important to avoid the creation of unclean/unhygienic conditions which may cause danger to life/public health.