Coronavirus update: 100% refund for all passengers till April 21, says Indian Railways

Coronavirus update: The railways said passengers will be refunded 100% if trains are cancelled between March 21 and April 21 this year and those who do not wish to travel on operational trains also to get their money back.
Coronavirus update: Indian commuters crowd the Churchgate railway station in Mumbai.(AP)
Coronavirus update: Indian commuters crowd the Churchgate railway station in Mumbai.(AP)
Updated on Mar 21, 2020 07:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnisha Dutta

Indian Railways has said passengers will be fully refunded if they cancel their tickets for journeys till April 21 as a step to avoid crowding in public places and aid social distancing as the number of Sars-Cov-2 cases in India stood at 258 on Saturday.

The ministry of railways said in a statement on Saturday it has also relaxed rules for a refund for counter generated tickets as well where passengers would not need to come to the station to seek the refund.

This relaxation is for journey period from March 21 to April 21, 2020.

Also read: Is Tamil Nadu man India’s first community spread case?

The order for free cancellation covers passengers whose trains have been cancelled by the railways as well as those who do not want to travel on operational trains.

Refund across the counter can be taken on submission of ticket up to 45 days from date of the journey instead of the current rule of instead of the present 72 hours deadline.

The national transporter asked all passengers to avail of this facility and avoid coming to the station.

A couple, who were asked to remain in isolation, aboard the Bengaluru-Delhi Rajdhani Express were on Saturday stopped by authorities after a co-passenger found a ‘quarantine stamp’ on the man’s hand.

Eight passengers who were aboard the AP Sampark Kranti Express on Friday have tested positive for coronavirus, the railway ministry said. In addition, the railways also found passengers who travelled from Mumbai to Jabalpur tested positive for Sars-Cov-2.

The railways have announced no passenger, mail express or intercity train will operate till 10pm on Sunday following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Janta Curfew, in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Modi had pitched for ‘social distancing’ and called for Janta Curfew from 7am to 9pm on Sunday, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their houses.

Operation of suburban rail services in all cities will also be reduced to a ‘bare minimum.’ A total of 3700 trains are expected to be halted.

“Some important and selective originating trains will run tomorrow (as decided by zones individually) and already running trains will complete its journey. No train will be halted in between the journey,” the railways ministry said on Saturday.

Also read: Pune woman with no foreign travel history tests positive for Covid-19

An order issued by the railway board on Friday said all passenger trains originating between midnight of March 21 till 10pm March 22 will not be run, however, passenger train services already running from 7am on March 21 shall be allowed to reach their destinations.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Indian Railways’ catering arm, also issued a statement saying all base kitchens and food plazas will be closed until ‘further advice.’ It added that onboard train services will also be withdrawn.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Railways has cancelled more than 200 trains so far, in order to restrict non-essential travel.

It has also suspended all concessional travel except for patients and Divyang category, according to government’s advisory.

The national carrier at present provides 53 categories of concessions out of which only 15 of them can be availed at per the new orders.

The railways have seen a decline of Rs 454 crore in its earnings on one week from March 11 to March 18.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021