Train tickets booked by more than 1.05 crore passengers across the country got cancelled along with around Rs 725 crore being refunded as the government has decided to continue with the lockdown till May 3 in the wake of COVID-19 contagion.
According to the available data, about 92 lakh passengers booked their tickets during April 15 and April 30, the last day of first phase lockdown. From 30 April to 3 May, the latest extended dateline of the second phase lockdown, about 13 lakh more passengers booked tickets on various trains.
According to a senior railway official, the advance ticket booking for 15 April-3 May period witnessed a reduced demand which is almost 10 to 20 per cent as compared to the normal booking in any given day.
With the cancellation of passenger-carrying train service, the refunds would be automatically remitted by the Railways online to the customers while those who have booked across the counters, refund can be taken upto July 31, 2020, according to Railway Ministry.
In March, the Railways has refunded 750 crore for booking cancellations after the cancellation of trains due to the lockdown.
With the global level risk running very high and the total number of novel coronavirus cases in India crossing the 10,000 mark, the government has no option but to extend the lockdown as containment measures.
In continuation of the measures taken in order to fight the pandemic, it has been decided that all passenger train services including premium service, Mail/Express trains, local trains, suburban service, Kolkata Metro Rail and Konkan Railway shall continue to remain cancelled till 3 May, 2020, the railway notification said after the announcement of lockdown extension.
There will be no booking of any type of tickets, including E-tickets till further order. However, facility of online cancellation will remain functional.
All counters for ticket booking for UTS & PRS will remain closed till further orders.
Full refund will be given for tickets for the bookings made for the trains cancelled.
Full refund will also be there for those cancelling the advance bookings of tickets for trains not yet cancelled.
However, railways would continue to run freight trains to ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country.
An increase of 1211 new Covid-19 cases and 31 deaths has been reported for COVID-19 since yesterday. As many as 1036 persons have been cured/discharged after recovery. As of now, a total of 602 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with 1,06,719 isolation beds and 12,024 ICU beds have been developed in India.
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