Kolkata: Following protests by passengers, Eastern Railway on Tuesday withdrew the increased fare it started charging in Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU), diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) and certain other trains since resumption of local train services in West Bengal.

After a nearly six-month hiatus, intra-state suburban EMU and other local train services resumed from Sunday after the West Bengal government gave its nod for running them at 50 per cent seating capacity as part of Covid-19 safety guidelines.

“Extra fare charged for MEMU/DEMU and short-distance intra-state passenger trains over ER (Eastern Railway) after re-introduction of intra-state passenger services in West Bengal on October 31, 2021 has been rolled back to its previous fare,” the railway said in a statement.

Passengers protested at several stations in ER jurisdiction on Tuesday against the increase in fares.

Suburban trains were choc-a-bloc with passengers during morning and evening peak hours on the second weekday on Tuesday following resumption of local train services, throwing Covid safety norms to the wind.

Announcements for maintaining social distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks were made at most railway stations, an ER official said.

A section of passengers, however, did not pay heed to these and were seen not wearing masks and crowding the doors of the coaches.

Several hundred passengers were penalised on Tuesday, as on the previous two days, at different stations in Howrah and Sealdah divisions of ER for not wearing masks in trains and at railway stations, the official said.

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