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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: In view of the surge in Covid-19 in the bordering districts of Odisha, the State government on Thursday requested the railway board to cancel all passenger train services to Chhattisgarh with effect from April 10.

In a letter to railway board chairman Suneet Sharma, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra also requested to ensure that all passengers travelling to Odisha, from anywhere by train, must have an RTPCR negative test report of maximum 72 hours before the start of journey or a second dose of vaccination certificate. This restriction shall come into force from boarding date of April 10, 2021.

The State government’s request came following significant surge in Covid-19 cases in many states such as Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

“Even though the situation in Odisha is not alarming, the cross border movements of people is now impacting the Covid-19 situation adversely in almost all border districts of Odisha. In view of this prevailing situation and trend, restrictions on passenger movement by Railways may be imposed by the government of Odisha,” the letter read.

According to official sources, presently, a total of 18 pairs of passenger trains of the East Coast Railway are either originating or passing through Chhattisgarh.

Meanwhile, the State government has ordered the State Transport Commissioner to restrict all modes of public transportation to Chhattisgarh from April 10-30. The collectors have also been ordered to adhere to strict checking in the border check posts. People coming to the State through the check posts sans Covid-19 negative reports and vaccine certificates will have to undergo quarantine for seven days.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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