Passengers not following protocols laid down for COVID-19, including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and travelling after being diagnosed with the disease could be booked under various sections of the Railway Act, may have to pay fines and even face imprisonment, the RPF said Wednesday.
Detailed guidelines have been issued by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for travellers specially for the upcoming festive season.
The guidelines list the various acts or omissions that passengers have to desist from while at railway premises.
These include not wearing a mask or wearing a mask improperly, not maintaining social distancing, coming to railway area or station or boarding a train after having been declared COVID positive or awaiting results or boarding despite being denied travel by the health team at the station.
Spitting or wilful ejection of body fluid/waste in a public area is also unlawful, the RPF said.
Indulging in activities which may create unclean or unhygienic conditions or affect public health and safety at railway stations and in trains and not adhering to any of the guidelines issued by Railway administration for prevention of spread of coronavirus are also among the actions that are not allowed.
“Since these acts or omissions are likely to aid in the spread of coronavirus, they will tantamount to interference with passenger amenities provided by the railway administration, wilful omission or neglect endangering or causing to be endangered the safety of any person or rash and negligent act or omission likely to endanger the safety of any person travelling or being upon any railway and may be punished with imprisonment and/or fine under section 145, 153 and 154 of Railway Act, 1989,” the RPF said in a statement.
Section 145 of the Act deals with drunkenness or nuisance and has a maximum jail term of one month with a fine of minimum Rs 250 on second violation, Section 153 deals with endangering the safety of persons travelling by railway by wilful act or omission which has a maximum jail term of five years with fine.
Passengers in violation of Section 154 of the Act, which pertains to endangering the safety of persons travelling by railway by rash or negligent act or omission, can be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
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