Coronavirus Outbreak: Railways to refund Rs 1,490 cr for cancellation of 94 lakh ticket bookings

Indian Railways will forgo around Rs 1,490 crore in revenue as it is refunding the amount towards cancellation of a whopping 94 lakh ticket bookings made by passengers prior to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Press Trust of India April 15, 2020 20:10:43 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Railways to refund Rs 1,490 cr for cancellation of 94 lakh ticket bookings

New Delhi: Indian Railways will forgo around Rs 1,490 crore in revenue as it is refunding the amount towards cancellation of a whopping 94 lakh ticket bookings made by passengers prior to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Top Railways officials told PTI that an amount of Rs 830 crore will be refunded for 55 lakh bookings made for travel between 22 March and 14 April. The Railways had largely suspended its passenger train services on 22 March, three days before the 21-day lockdown came into force.

Another amount of Rs 660 crore will be returned for around 39 lakh bookings made for travel between April 15 and May 3, they said.

Coronavirus Outbreak Railways to refund Rs 1490 cr for cancellation of 94 lakh ticket bookings

Representational image. Reuters

India went under a total shutdown of 21 days from 25 March to 14 April. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the lockdown till 3 May.

The Railways had not stopped bookings for journeys beginning 15 April.

It said that all passengers will get a full refund for tickets booked for the period during which passenger train services have been suspended.

The national transporter added that the money would be automatically refunded to online customers, while those who booked tickets at the designated reservation counters could claim the refund till 31 July.

Following the prime minister's announcement, the Indian Railways extended the suspension of all its passenger services till the end of the lockdown.

According to official data, a staggering 20 million people travel daily on nearly 15,000 passenger trains across the country.

The Railways said no advance reservation of train tickets, including e-tickets, will be allowed till further orders, though the facility of online cancellation will remain functional.

However, people on social media said that the Railways has deducted the convenience fee per online booking while making the refunds.

"When train is cancelled, the passenger is refunded full fare. Convenience fees is not refunded which are nominal to an individual and used for day-to-day maintenance and up-gradation of the ticketing facility," the railways explained in a statement.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) charges a nominal convenience fee of Rs 15 per ticket for booking non-AC travel and Rs 30 for air-conditioned and first-class tickets.

"A full refund will also be there for those cancelling advance bookings for trains not cancelled yet," the national transporter said.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, on an average, around 8.5 lakh tickets were booked on the IRCTC website daily.

After the prime minister's announcement of a 21-day lockdown across the country, the railways had announced the suspension of all passenger services till April 14.

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