In the midst of a nationwide lockdown, Indian Railways will cancel around 39 lakh tickets from April 15 to May 3. This step of the Railways is being taken after PM Modi’s addressal to nation related to lockdown extension. In his speech to the nation, PM Modi has extended the lockdown period across the country from April 14 to May 3. Since the passenger trains are stopped; Railways has taken drastic step and have to cancel the tickets of the passengers. Recently the Railways has decided to suspend the operation of all passenger train services till May 3. There will also be no booking of tickets during this period. Tickets that have already been booked will be refunded. Like passenger trains, all types of passenger airline services will also be postponed until 3 May. Private airlines which had opened bookings from 14 April onwards will provide an opportunity for passengers to travel on the dates after the flight is restored.
Refund for the Trains canceled by Railways:
The ticket booking from 15th April to 3rd may will be canceled by the Railways and the refund will be directly credited to the ticket holders’ account. If anyone has PRS counter ticket booked for the journey within these dates, they can cancel their ticket from the counter. The time frame has been increased by 3 months which was earlier 72 hours only. Travelers with a PRS counter ticket can apply for refund by 31 July with Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR).
According to Railways notification; the money will be automatically credited to the account used by the passenger during booking of e-ticket. In case of cancellation of train, no fee will be deducted by the Railways. According to some reports, Indian Railways was fully prepared for the starting of rail services in the country but due to extension of lockdown, it was decided that premium trains, mail / express trains, passenger trains, suburban trains, Kolkata Metro Rail and Konkan Railway etc. have been suspended till May 3.
Convenience Fee is not Refunded on Cancellation
It is known that some booking facility is charged per ticket while booking through IRCTC website. IRCTC charges Rs 15 per ticket for non AC class while Rs 30 for AC and First Class as a convenience fee. That facility fee is not refunded on cancellation. The rest money is refunded. Last year, the service charges were reduced by 25% by the railways. The daily expenditure of maintenance for operating an e-ticket service is Rs 32 lakh, the annual cost being Rs 125 crores.
Many people stranded in different parts of the India
To prevent the spread of coronavirus across the country, all passenger trains have been closed. Only goods trains are being run. In such pandemic situation, millions of people are trapped in different parts of the country and they want to reach their homes, but there is no means of transportation available today. Therefore, many people are waiting for train services to start.
Ban on Passenger Flights till 3 May
Meanwhile, Air India, which had stopped booking till April 30, has also announced no booking till May 3. Private airlines which had opened bookings from April 15 onwards, are also considering further strategies. SpiceJet has announced to suspend the flight till May 3, tweeting that further steps will be communicated.
The first lockdown was carried out until 14 April. Therefore, many people had booked train tickets for the journey from 15 April. Passengers will get refund on tickets from Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Therefore you do not need to cancel your e-ticket. If the passenger cancels his ticket, he is likely to receive less money.