The Railways spent Rs 39.30 crore during April-December last year to convert its air-conditioned coaches into wards to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms, the government said on Friday. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said 5,601 coaches were converted into Covid-isolation wards by the Indian Railways to facilitate treatment of coronavirus patients.
“As per information available, 813 coaches were deployed at different stations as requisitioned by state governments. The total expenditure incurred on the conversion of coaches into isolation wards and medical units was Rs 39.30 crore from April 2020 to December 2020,” he said. Goyal said zonal divisions of the railways have been advised that COVID-isolation coaches converted from ICF coaches of age profile less than 20 years can be restored back if coaches are needed for an operational requirement. There is no requirement of isolation coaches from state governments, he said.