Amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis, the Indian Railways on Thursday (19 March) said that it has cancelled 84 pairs of trains, taking the total number of train cancelled to 155 pairs to contain the spread of the pandemic.
A senior railway ministry official said that the decision was taken in view of the increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in India, that has touched 166 on Thursday, with 15 new cases across the country.
The official said that as a precautionary measure to COVID-19, Indian Railways has cancelled 84 pairs of low occupancy trains having journey commencing dates from 20 To 31 March.
He said all the passengers having tickets in these trains are being informed about the decision individually.
The official further said that "no cancellation fee" will be taken for these trains.
"Hundred per cent amount would be refunded to passengers," he said.
The official said that after the airlines, the national transporter is the second to suffer the most drop in the passenger due to COVID-19.
According to Raildrishti a drop of over 30 per cent has been witnessed in the passengers' category in the last few days.
The railways has also increased the price of platform tickets at over 500 stations to Rs 50 from Rs 10 to avoid the huge rush and gathering at major stations across the country.
Furthermore, Railway Board chairman V K Yadav has requested passengers to avoid non-essential travel.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who chaired a review meeting with top railway officials on Tuesday, has directed all zonal heads to take all precautionary measures to check the spreading of coronavirus, reports Deccan Herald.
(With inputs from IANS)
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