LAHORE: Pakistan Railways (PR) has decided to impose 10 per cent Covid surcharge [on each ticket] from Sept 1 on all unvaccinated passengers.
There will also be a complete ban on travelling of all unvaccinated passengers from April next year, Dawn has learnt.
According to an internal letter issued by the PR headquarters, the senior officials concerned at the head office and all divisional offices (field formations) have been directed to open vaccination centres at all major stations including Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Karachi and Rohri/Sukkur within next 15 days.
Railways to open vaccination centres at major stations
“Vaccination of all employees and their families must be ensured by Aug 31. Those failed to get themselves vaccinated, will not be given salary of August onward,” the letter reads.
“There will be 10 per cent Covid surcharge on all unvaccinated passengers from Sept 1, 2021 as the PR is already facing a heavy cost on account of 70 per cent occupancy and additional sanitisation,” it says.
From Jan 1, the PR has decided to allow only those passengers aged below 20 years to travel while those aged above 20 will have to show vaccination certificates while travelling. “There will be a complete ban on travel without vaccination from April 1, 2022,” says the letter.
Talking to Dawn, PR board chairman/secretary Dr Habibur Rehman Gilani said the department, keeping in view the Covid spread in the country, was left with no option but to take some ‘tough’ decisions to make more and more rail employees and passengers vaccinated.
He said he would also direct the officers to establish vaccination centres [if required] at all PR workshops where thousands of employees are working. “The vaccination centres are already operational at our hospitals/dispensaries wherein employees/workers are being vaccinated,” he clarified.
He said he had appointed the PR’s chief medical officer as focal person to coordinate with the NCOC for continuous supply of vaccines at all centres.
“We have also asked the staff performing duties in trains to ensure implementation of Covid-related SOPs including wearing of masks, social distancing etc. The staff has also been advised to impose fine on all those flouting the Covid protocol,” the chairman maintained.
Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021