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Bookings open for Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Expr, to start Oct 5

The Vande Bharat Express will run on all days of the week except Tuesday, and will cut the travel time between Delhi and Katra to just 8 hours

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : Bringing cheer to people planning to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine near Jammu, Indian Railways have opened bookings for the high-speed Vande Bharat Express that will ply between Delhi and Katra from the coming October 5.

Bookings have opened on the IRCTC website www.irctc.co. for the indigenuosly built Train 18, which has been rechristended as Vande Bharat Express. It will be flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 3, and will be available for regular passengers from October 5.

The railways have not applied the dynamic pricing principle for its fares on the new train. The minimum fare for travelling between New Delhi to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra station in the chair car is Rs 1,630, while the fare for the executive chair car is priced at Rs 3,015.

The Vande Bharat Express will run on all days of the week except Tuesday, and will cut the travel time between Delhi and Katra to just 8 hours, as compared to 12-14 hours required earlier to cover the distance of 655 km. The

The train will depart from the New Delhi Railway Station at 6 a.m. and will reach Katra at 2 p.m. It will commence its return journey on the same day from Katra at 3 p.m. and reach New Delhi at 11 p.m.

Railway officials here pointed out that the train would be run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph on the Delhi-Katra route with three stops – Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi -before reaching Katra.

According to them, the decision to run the indigenously built high speed train between Delhi and Katra, the base for the trip to Vaishno Devi, was taken following the success of the Vande Bharat Express currently plying plying between New Delhi and Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the first Vande Bharat Express on February 15 this year.

The official said the route was identified by the Railway Board in order to capitalize on the high traffic volume on account of the Vaishno Devi temple pilgrims.

The Train 18 manufactures, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), have made changes to the existing design of the train.

“To avoid damage due to stray cattle, the train has been equipped with a sturdy aluminium-clad nose cover. And to guard the window shields against stone pelting, a special film on windows has been provided,” a railway official said.

More space has been provided to store meals for passengers. Besides the changes in the exterior and interior designs, the ICF has added a slew of modern features like adjustable seats, improved wash basins, automatic doors, WiFi and infotainment system, among others.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

Business

Govt must tell forward plan to the country: Congress

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, May 31 : On the last day of the lockdown 4.0, the Congress has questioned the government on its strategy and plan to control the coronavirus infection, exit route out of the lockdown to revive the economy and a way forward.

Chief Spokesperson of the Congress, Randeep Surjewala said, “Today, we witnessed biggest ‘Single Day Spike’ in #COVID19 infection of 8,380. Total Infection at 1,82,490.”

He asked, “The fifth Lockdown begins tomorrow and Congress posed 4 questions to the government — What is the Govt strategy? Have the Lockdowns failed? Is there a blueprint to fight Corona? Any plan out of economic havoc?”

The party has been questioning the persistent lockdown without any exit plan which was implemented on March 25.

The Centre on Saturday took an exit step from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30 and that the prohibited activities will be opened in a phased manner in areas outside these zones.

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 with the announcement of the restrictions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown was extended thrice earlier.

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Cities

Continue strict enforcement of measures in containment zones: Delhi LG

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Delhi L-G Anil Baijal

New Delhi, May 31 : Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Sunday directed the officials concerned to ensure continued strict enforcement of health and other measures in containment zones in the national capital as per central government guidelines.

In a series of tweets, he said that he had held a meeting on the ongoing coronavirus situation in Delhi with the Chief Secretary and other senior officials, including Municipal Commissioners, and reviewed steps taken to ramp up health infrastructure in Delhi keeping in mind various scenarios.

The total coronavirus cases in the city had crossed 18,000-mark on Saturday.

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Cities

Delhi Police ASI dies of COVID-19, second casualty in force

“He was found COVID-19 positive on May 28 and was admitted at BASE Army hospital in Delhi Cantonment area the same day.”

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Delhi Police Security Traffic

New Delhi, May 31 : A 54-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector of Delhi Police has succumbed to COVID-19, officials said on Sunday.

The death of Shesh Mani Pandey, deployed as the fingerprint expert in the Crime Branch, marks the second casualty in the force due to the deadly infection.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Sanjay Bhatia, the officer tested positive on May 26 at the Lady Hardinge hospital after he complained of fever and cough.

“He was found COVID-19 positive on May 28 and was admitted at BASE Army hospital in Delhi Cantonment area the same day.”

Pandey was an ex-Army personnel and joined Delhi Police on November 1, 2014. He belonged to Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, a constable posted at Bharat Nagar Police Station in northwest Delhi passed away due to the viral infection.

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