Due to the growing cases of infection due to Coronavirus pandemic, South Western Railway (SWR) is preparing to convert as many as 312 coaches into isolation and quarantine wards. As per a press note released on Tuesday by the SWR, the coaches will be turned into the wards as per the prototype approved by the Railway Board. The move is expected to benefit 2,400 people.
According to the prototype approved by the Railway Board, middle berths and ladders will be removed for better comfort and space. The facilities will also be made to hold oxygen cylinders and will have electric sockets. Moreover, two bathrooms and two lavatories are provided diagonally inside the coach. Two charging points will also be made available for mobile phones and laptops inside.
Further, the release stated, “Indian Railways is planning to initially modify 5,000 passenger coaches to meet the requirement of any possible exigency. This has been possible due to the nationwide lockdown from March 25 and Indian Railways has suspended all passenger train services across the country.”
As of yet, as many as 120 coaches will be converted to isolation wards at the Hubballi workshop and another 120 at the Mysuru workshop. The depots in Hubballi, Bengaluru, Yeshwantpur, and Mysuru will further transform 18 coaches each.
As per the Railways, the work is expected to be completed by April 15. A total of 240 people are working on the modification of coaches. Around 2,400 beds will be provided in the 312 modified coaches, said one of the Railway officials.