Lockdown: Railways to cancel 3.9 mn tickets as operations remain suspended

Worker sanitizes a railway track as a precautionary measures against coronavirus, in Amritsar
The Indian Railways is cancelling around 3.9 million travel tickets booked between April 15 and May 3 due to extension of the nationwide lockdown and suspension of passenger trains till then in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.

With the national transporter allowing tickets to be booked during the 21-day lockdown for journeys after April 14, around 39 lakh bookings were made by passengers hoping that trains will be in operation post-lockdown. However, with the announcement of the extension of the lockdown period, railways on Tuesday not only cancelled all its passenger services till May 3 but also stopped all advance bookings.

All passengers will, however, get a full refund for tickets booked on the now cancelled trains as well as for those booked in advance.

Railways has also said full refunds would be automatically provided by the national transporter for its online customers, while those who have booked at the counters can take the refunds up to July 31. Despite the uncertainty, 45 per cent of these tickets were booked in the past seven days.

Meanwhile, as part of its preparedness, the Indian Railways has also asked zones to ensure the security of coaches parked in depots. Officials say once the services resume full throttle, they expect overcrowding at stations and measures have to be chalked out on how to deal with them.

The focus now for railways, the officials said, is to ensure that the rakes of passenger trains which were suspended due to the lockdown had returned to their respective bases, received proper maintenance like charging of batteries, cleaning of bio-toilets, and were ready to return on the tracks once the resumption of services is announced.

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