Indian Railways and roadways are suffering a loss of 1.25 crores daily to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing lockdown in the country. Passengers stranded in the outlying states and districts are also upset because of no passenger trains running on tracks. They are waiting for the lockdown period to get over so that they can reach home. To cope with the huge loss due to lockdown, the railway has decided to take cost cutting measure (cost reduction). According to the plan, new recruitments of Group D will be banned by the Railways. Surplus railway personnel will be retired. In addition, ticket counters i.e. PRS will be closed for major cities. According to railway documents, booking clerk, supervisor,TTE cadre will be adjusted.
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According to the documents of the Ministry of Railways, cost cutting is being discussed and implemented in every zonal railway to adjust the revenue balance due to effects of lockdown. Railways will completely ban the new recruitment of Group D workers. It includes peons to gang men, trackmen, point men etc. Apart from this, it has been suggested to retrench surplus employees in various railway zones.
Recommendation for Booking General Tickets from the App
The budget for On Board Housekeeping Scheme (OBHS) for cleaning trains has been reduced by 50 percent. In order to reduce the manpower, the Railways has asked to completely close the ticket counters at the major railway stations of the country. There are plans to accommodate booking clerk, supervisor, TTE, TC cadre. It has been recommended to close unreserved ticket counters and book general tickets from the UTS mobile app. It has been suggested to reduce the number of railway personnel engaged in track repair work intead deploy machines for track maintenance. Railway officials say that yet no decision has been taken on the cost cutting.
Railways will lose Rs 1,490 crore in its Revenue
The Indian Railways will lose Rs 1,490 crore after cancellation of 94 lakh tickets booked by passengers before the nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The top railway officials told PTI that the amount of Rs 830 crore will be refunded for 55 lakh tickets booked for the journey between March 22nd and April 14th. The Railways also suspended its train services in support of Janta curfew on March 22 before the lockdown was implemented.
660 Crore will be refunded for the 39 Lakhs Tickets Booked
Railways explained that due to extension of the lockdown 2.0 from April 15 to May 3, an amount of Rs 660 crore will be refunded by the Indian Railways for the 39 lakh tickets booked between these days. Earlier, a 21-day lockdown was imposed in India from 25th March to 14th April. Moreover, Railways had not stopped ticket bookings for the journey from 15 April.
Passengers will get full Refund in the Original Mode of Payment
IRCTC, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, clarified that passengers don’t have to cancel their E-tickets for the trains cancelled till May 3. According to a tweet by news agency ANI, IRCTC has told the passengers that people will get their full refund automatically. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) clarified that the e-ticket will be cancelled by itself and passengers will get full refund in the original mode of payment. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to continue the lockdown implemented from March 25 till April 14, 2020 across the country. He extended the lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection in the country.