MUMBAI: In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Central Railway has launched a UV light-based luggage sanitisation facility for passengers at a few major stations, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, officials said on Tuesday.
As part of the facility started recently, the luggage is passed through a machine or chamber, in which the ultraviolet (UV) light is beamed from all directions, to make the outer surface of the luggage free of all types of viruses, bacteria and germs, they said.
After the sanitisation process in the specially designed chamber, the luggage is handed over to passengers with a sticker certifying it 'disinfected'.
Thereafter, passengers can also get their luggage properly wrapped, if they wish so, by paying the fixed charges, the officials said.
"The UV light-based sanitisation facility is provided at an affordable rate and charges are determined on the basis of size of the baggage," Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar said.
For luggages weighing 10 kg, 25 kg and more than 25 kg, the sanitisation charges are Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20, while wrapping charges are Rs 60, Rs 70 and Rs 80, respectively, Sutar said.
Passengers can avail this facility at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai as well as Kalyan station in neighbouring Thane district, another official said.
The Central Railway (CR) also has plans to make this facility available at Dadar in Mumbai and at Thane and Panvel stations, he said.
The initiative is part of the Non-Fare Revenue Ideas Scheme, under which the Railways has signed an agreement with private enterprises to provide this facility, the official said.
Till Monday, Mumbai reported 2,76,507 COVID-19 cases and 10,687 deaths due to the disease, as per official figures.
Maharashtra government on Monday made it mandatory for those seeking to enter the state from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa to carry RT-PCR negative reports.
For those flying in, the RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 72 hours of scheduled time of landing at airports in Maharashtra, a government order said.
In case of journey by trains, the collection of RT-PCR samples should have been done within 96 hours before the scheduled arrival in Maharashtra, the notification issued by Maharashtra chief secretary Sanjay Kumar said.
There will be mandatory screening at border check posts for people coming by road.
Passengers without symptoms will be allowed entry.
Road travellers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and going to their home to recuperate, it said.
The four states - Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa - have been reporting high caseload of the coronavirus disease, an official said.
People with COVID-19 symptoms seeking to enter the state from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa would be turned back, the order said.
The order stipulated that all domestic passengers traveling from airports in NCR Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry RT-PCR negative test reports with them before boarding and show them to the teams at the arrival airport in Maharashtra.
"The Airports Authority of India is requested to check the report before allowing passengers to board the flight, the government order said. The state government on Monday came out with revised standard operating procedures on preventive measures to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Air travellers not having the RT-PCR test reports shall compulsorily undergo RT-PCR test at the concerned airports at their own cost, the government said in the order.
"The airport shall arrange (for) the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing," the order said.
Airport operators will allow passengers to go home only after they undertake the test, the government said.
Contact information and address shall be collected by the airport operator from all the passengers who undergo tests at the airport to facilitate contact in case the test report comes out positive, it said.
"Passengers whose report comes out positive will be contacted and treated as per the existing protocol," the order said.
Similarly, passengers travelling to Maharashtra by trains originating or having halt/stop at stations in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry with them their respective RT-PCR negative test report before they decide to enter Maharashtra, the government said.
"Passengers not having the RT-PCR test negative report shall be screened for symptoms and body temperatures at the alighting railway stations. Passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home," the government said.
Railway passengers showing symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo antigen test.
Passengers whose antigen test report will be negative will be allowed to go home, the government said.
It said that passengers not testing/found COVID-19 positive, shall be sent to COVID-19 care centres and the cost shall be borne by the commuters themselves.
On road travel, the government said that collectors of land border districts shall make arrangements to ensure that passengers from NCR of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa are tested for symptoms including body temperature.
"The passengers without symptoms will be allowed entry. Passengers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and going to their home to recuperate," the government said in the order.
Those showing symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo antigen test and will be allowed to travel further into Maharashtra if the (antigen test) report is negative, the government said.
It said that passengers not testing/found COVID-19 positive shall be sent to COVID-19 care centres and the commuters will have to bear the cost.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)