- Aarogya Setu was made mandatory on special trains in a late night notice
- Railways had earlier only advised passangers to install the application
- Passengers who do not have the app might be asked to install on arrival
The Indian Railways, which had on Monday “advised” the passengers availing the special trains that started operating from Tuesday to install the government’s Aarogya Setu mobile application, has now made it “mandatory” to do so.
However, officials said any “exception” will be decided on a “case-to-case basis”, but did not rule out disallowing passengers who do not have the Aarogya Setu app installed on their mobile phones.
While the guidelines issued by the railways for the 15 pairs of special trains running between Delhi and major cities of the country did not say installing the mobile app was mandatory, a late night (12:24 am) tweet by the railway ministry made it compulsory.
“Indian Railways is going to start few passenger train services. It is mandatory for passengers to download Aarogya Setu app in their mobile phones, before commencing their journey,” the tweet said.
Railways Spokesperson RD Bajpai confirmed that the app is now mandatory for travel and said since a mobile phone number is also compulsory to book 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 said.
Officials, however, said if a passenger does not have a mobile phone, a decision will be taken on a “case-to-case basis”, adding that it is unlikely that someone travelling on a Rajdhani train will not have a phone.