Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Aarogya Setu is 'mandatory' to travel on special trains

Railway started train ticket booking for special trains operating from today (May 12). The national transporter has mandated all the passengers availing the special trains to install the government's Aarogya Setu mobile application. Earlier,
having the app on phone was just advised, but it has been made mandatory now. 

The tweet said, "Indian Railways is going to start a few passenger train services. It is mandatory for passengers to download Aarogya Setu app in their mobile phones, before commencing their journey." 

However, a PTI report cited railway officials saying that any "exception" will be decided on a "case-to-case basis". The officials did not rule out disallowing passengers who do not have the Aatogya Setu app installed on their mobile phones. It is worth mentioning that the guidelines issued by the railways for the 15 pairs of special trains running between Delhi and major cities of the country did not mention anything about installing the mobile app being mandatory. However, a late-night tweet by the railway ministry made it compulsory.

Railways Spokesperson R D Bajpai told the agency that the app is now mandatory for travel. He further said that since a mobile phone number is compulsory to book train tickets online, all passengers will have to carry mobile phones with them.

"Passengers should come to the station after installing the Aarogya Setu app and it is mandatory for travel. The railways has made it compulsory and the passengers should install it for their own safety. Since all passengers carry mobile phones, this should not be an issue. Also, we will provide the passengers with all the help needed to use the app," he was quoted in the agency report saying.

Sources told the agency that passengers, who do not have the app installed on their mobile phones, might be asked to do so after their arrival at the station.

For those who are not aware, the government launched its own contact-tracing app, Aarogya Setu last month. The aim of the app is to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Until recently, only smartphone users were able to use the app. However, to cover feature phones and landline connections, the government launched the Aarogya Setu Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). The IVRS is available across the country as a toll-free service.

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