Commencing on May 7 with Karachi-to-Lahore route, the special trains will continue till May 12
Pakistan’s Railways Ministry on Thursday announced that it will operate 10 “special” trains ahead of Eidul Fitr to help citizens wishing to return home for the holidays.
In a notification, the ministry said “special” trains would be operated daily between major urban centers, with the first such journey to take place on May 7 (Friday). Of the 10 trains, 8 will operate between Karachi and Lahore, while the remaining two will serve travelers from Karachi to Rawalpindi and Multan, respectively. The schedule for the trains is as follows:
- May 7: Karachi to Lahore; Lahore to Karachi
- May 8: Karachi to Lahore; Lahore to Karachi
- May 9: Karachi to Lahore; Lahore to Karachi
- May 10: Karachi to Lahore; Lahore to Karachi
- May 11: Karachi to Rawalpindi
- May 12: Karachi to Multan
Under guidelines issued by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the trains would operate at 70 percent of capacity. Authorities have also been directed to ensure SOPs are strictly implemented and enforced, including no entry to any passenger who is not wearing a mask.
Most parts of Pakistan are set to go under “complete” lockdown from May 8-16 as part of the government’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” campaign for Eidul Fitr. The decision is meant to curb the mobility of citizens in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a situation in Pakistan like that of neighboring India, where hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths due to the pandemic are being reported daily.
All forms of interprovincial and intercity public transport will be banned during the lockdown, but railways are allowed to operate with 70 percent of capacity, and private vehicles are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.