In this lockdown 4.0 which has been imposed due to the coronavirus, the lifeline of India – Railways is slowly returning on the track. After starting the operations of Shramik Special and Inter-State trains, Indian Railways has issued an order to open the ticket reservation counter from 22 May (Friday) at selected stations. However, there is also a strict guideline that no gathering of any kind should take place. Along with this, it will be mandatory to follow social distancing at the reservation ticket counter. It has also been said that from Friday, the railway will also allow reservation of tickets from the Common Service Centres (CSCs) through the ticket agents. Railway has stated that the Common Service Centres will be opened from May 22. In the initial round of 200 passenger trains, one-third reservation counter will be opened for ticket booking on the first day and the remaining two-third counters in the next two days.
You Can Also Get the Tickets Booked through Travel Agents
People will also be able to get ticket reservations made through travel agents. The Railways issued a statement in this regard, “The zonal railways have been instructed to open the reservation counters and notify it according to local needs and conditions. These reservation counters will open in a phased manner from May 22nd (Friday).” Information about their respective places and times will be given according to the local needs.
Wearing of Mask is Mandatory at the Ticket Counters
The Railways has stated that the decision will be taken at the local level for the number of counters to open at the local level. The officers will decide this taking into consideration that there is no inconvenience caused to the passengers. Everyone who comes to collect tickets on the counters will be required to wear a mask.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Made This Announcement
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the booking of train tickets at about 1.7 lakh ‘common service centres’ across the country will be restored from Friday, which will also provide services to remote places where availability of computers and internet are limited or non-existent.
East Central Railways Released the Names of Stations for PRS Counters
A limited number of reservation counters are being opened from 22 May 2020 for booking tickets in special trains that are currently operational as well as in the trains running from 01 June. The PRS counters will be opened at Patna, Danapur, Rajendra Nagar T., Pataliputra, Ara, Buxar, Dildarnagar, Rajgir, Biharsharif, Bakhtiyarpur, Patna Sahib, Lakhisarai, Mokama, Jehanabad, Jhajha stations under the East Central Railway Danapur division. The withdrawal of previously reserved tickets from the reservation centres can be brought into effect from 25 May 2020. Hence, passengers are requested to come for their cash refund from 25 May 2020. All passengers are requested to follow all standard precautions to avoid the risk of spread of Coronavirus at the reservation counters.
Railways Will Soon Announce More Number of Trains
Goyal also said that the bookings will start at the counters at some stations in the next two to three days. He said, “We have to take India to normalcy. We are making a protocol to identify stations where counters can be opened. We have to make sure that a large number of people do not gather to book tickets at the counters, so we are assessing the situation and making a protocol for it.” During a conversation with his party colleague and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, Goyal said, “We will announce more trains soon.”
Rush for Booking Tickets Online
In lockdown 4, Indian Railways provided only online ticket booking facility. Due to this, a lot of rush was seen on the IRCTC website for booking the tickets on Thursday. The train ticket booking started from May 21st and within two hours of booking, 1,49,025 tickets got booked for the first 73 special trains.