- As lockdown is extended, close to 40 lakh tickets cancelled by Railways
- Lockdown period extended till 3rd May
- A full refund will be given against the cancelled tickets
The Indian Railways is all set to cancel almost 40 lakh tickets which were booked by passengers to travel between Apil 15th and May 3rd due to the extension of the lockdown which led to the suspension of the passenger trains until the extended period which was imposed to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
As the national carrier allowed tickets to be books after the initial 21 day lockdown which was supposed to end on the 14th April, i.e. the journeys starting from April 15th, which came to be almost 40 lakh passengers.
Having said this, as the PrimeMinister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the 14th April and announced that the lockdown will be extended for 19 more day, i.e. until 3rd May, the Indian Railways did not only had to suspend all of its passenger trains but also stop any further advance-booking until 3rd of May, as said by the firm on Tuesday.
Even as the announcement of extending the lockdown which stalled over 15,000 passenger train, migrant workers in the number of thousands gathered near the Bandra Railway Station in Mumbai on Tuesday, hoping that they will be able to catch the train and go back to their home states.
While the police and authorities were able to disperse the crowd, questions were raised as to why did the railways keep the bookings open despite the uncertainty over a potential extension of the lockdown period in India.
However, the Indian Railways said that all the passengers whose tickets were canceled due to the cancellation of trains and/ or those who booked in advance will get a full refund for tickets.
The national transporter added that the amount will automatically get refunded to online customers, whole those who booked the tickets from the counters will be able to claim the refund until the 31st of July.
Customers will also get a full refund for the advance train ticket they will cancel for the trains which are still not cancelled, said the Indian Railways.
The company also said that no advance reservation for train tickets, including the e-ticckets, will be allowed till any further orders, however, only the online cancellation service shall remain operational.
The national transporter said, “As far as the trains cancelled up to May 3 are concerned, the refund would be made automatically by the railways to online customers, while those who have booked at the counters can claim the refund till July 31. A full refund will be given for the bookings made for the trains cancelled.
“A full refund will also be there for those cancelling advance bookings for trains not cancelled yet,”.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the IRCTC website used to book almost 8.5 lakh tickets on an average on a daily basis.
On Tuesday, PM Modi announced that the lockdown period in the country will be extended until the 3rd of May to fight the spread of the pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, around 15,523 trains which includes 9,000 passenger trains and 3,000 mail express trains would run daily on the country’s railway tracks which however are empty most of the times.
In India, the reported cases of COVID-19 infections have crossed 11,500 while the deaths caused by this deadly virus have almost reached 400.