Indian Railways said on April 14th, 2020 its passenger train services will remain suspended till May 3, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country will continue to maintain restrictions to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“All passenger train services on Indian Railways including Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, Passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway etc shall continue to remain cancel till the 2400hrs of 3rd May 2020,” the Indian Railways said in a release. However, the movement of goods and parcel trains will continue to ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country.
The railways said all passenger ticket bookings will also be cancelled. No advance reservations shall continue until further notice.
“For the cancelled trains, a full refund of fares shall be arranged to the passengers. Resumption of train services as may be warranted in consideration of public safety, keeping in view the emergent situation, shall be announced in due course,” it added.
All passenger transport had been suspended for the three-week-long lockdown period that began on March 25th, 2020.
“To ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country, movement of goods and Parcel trains will continue. No booking of any type of tickets, including E-tickets shall be done until further advice. However, the facility of online cancellation will remain functional for ticket bookings,” the Ministry said.
“All counters for ticket booking for UTS & PRS will remain closed till further orders. A full refund will be given for tickets for the bookings made for the trains cancelled. A full refund will also be there for those cancelling the advance bookings of tickets for trains not yet cancelled,” it added.
The refunds would be automatically remitted by the Railways online to the customers while those who have booked across the counters, the refund can be taken up to July 31st, 2020.
Once restrictions are lifted, the national carrier is planning to ensure strict social distancing norms in trains to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, which includes mandatory thermal screening and no allotment of middle berth in the sleeper category.
Modi on April 14th, 2020 announced to extend the COVID-19 lockdown till May 3rd, 2020. The Prime Minister urged people to follow the lockdown till May 3rd, 2020 with “utmost vigilance”.