New Delhi: The Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31, taking the number of trains cancelled in view of low occupancy and coronavirus pandemic to 155, officials said.
Railway officials said the trains were identified on Wednesday night and the decision would be effective from March 20 to March 31.
These include IRCTC operated two Tejas Express trains and one Humsafar Express train.
"All passengers having tickets in these 155 trains are being informed about it individually. No cancellation fee will be taken for these trains. Passengers will get 100% refund," an official said.
Tourist specials like Maharaja, Buddhist, Bharat Darshan, and state specials have already been cancelled. The decision to cancel the Tejas service between Mumbai-Ahmedabad and New Delhi-Lucknow and the recently launched Humsafar service between Indore-Varanasi was taken on Wednesday night, officials said.
The national transporters has also issued a set of guidelines to zonal headquarters for its catering staff, saying no employee having fever, cough, runny nose or difficulty in breathing "should be deployed in the business of food handling on the Indian Railways".
The novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.
ICSE Class X and XII Exams Postponed
The ICSE board on Thursday postponed class 10 and 12 examinations due to the novel coronavirus, officials said. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive Gerry Arathoon said the exams have been postponed till March 31.
On Wednesday, Arathoon had said the exams will be conducted as per the schedule after the CBSE announced it has postponed exams till March 31.
UGC Asks Universities to Postpone Exams
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all universities and affiliated colleges on Thursday to postpone examinations till March-end due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The evaluation work will be suspended during the period too.
"All universities and affiliated colleges should postpone exams till March 31 and suspend evaluation work. Further schedule should be decided following a review of the situation," the commission said in an order.
Air India May Cut Salaries by 5%, IndiGo Announces Pay Cuts
Government-owned Air India may cut salary of employees by 5 amid its growing financial woes particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has nearly grounded its entire international operations, sources said.
The reduction will be across the board, they say.
The loss-making airline, which is in the process of a second attempt of privatisation after failing to get a single buyer nearly two years ago, has already taken some steps such as reduced flying allowances to cabin crew besides withdrawing entertainment allowance to executive pilots, among others.
“Air India is considering a 5 per cent pay cut to its employees as it faces huge financial crisis due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has brought almost its entire international operations save the US, Canada and a few other markets, to the ground," a source told PTI.
IndiGo, too, announced pay cut across the board.
CEO Ronojoy Dutta said the salary cuts would be for most employees, and he would himself take 25% cut in salary.
“ I am personally taking a 25 percent pay cut, senior vice-presidents and above are taking 20 percent, VPs and cockpit crew are taking a 15 percent pay cut, AVPs, bands D along with cabin crew will take 10 percent and band C 5 percent. We know how hard it is for families to take a cut in take home pay. But unfortunately, it is impossible for our company to fly through this economic storm without all of us making some sacrifices," Datta said.
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta announces 25% pay cut for himself; 5% to 20% salary cut for other staff members pic.twitter.com/VdsR3qAtIf
— JAGRITI CHANDRA (@jagritichandra) March 19, 2020