COVID-19: Railways withdraw concessions to prevent unnecessary travel
New Delhi, March 20, 2020
In order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Indian Railways today announced the suspension of the concessional booking facility for reserved and unreserved travel on all tickets except those for patients, students and persons with disabilities.
The withdrawal of the facility is also expected to prevent the vulnerable category of Senior Citizens from undertaking unnecessary travel. The facility will remain suspended form 00:00 hrs of March 20 till further orders.
As a precautionary measure and to discourage non-essential travel and overcrowding of trains, 155 pairs of low-occupancy trains were cancelled up to March 31.
The cancellations were undertaken keeping in view the availability of alternate trains for passengers and ensuring that no one will be stranded. Full refund is being given to all the passengers whose train has been cancelled.
Indian Railways have also facilitated the return of students stranded in the Northern part of the country due to sudden closure of educational Institutions to their homes in Southern, Northern-Eastern and Eastern regions.
Advisories are being issued to passengers to avoid non-essential train journeys and to ensure that they do not have running fever while they are commencing the journey. At any point of the journey if passenger feels that he is having fever, he can contact the railway staff for medical attention and further assistance, an official press release said.
In order to avoid unnecessary crowding at railway stations, Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) have been advised to review the situation and raise the price of platform tickets to Rs 50 wherever necessary.
Regular announcements are being done on PA system of railway stations and trains to sensitize the public about various Dos & Don’ts including keeping hands clean by frequent washing; Maintaining social distance & covering the mouth while sneezing and coughing; Precautions to be taken if one has running fever (don’t travel and report immediately to the Doctor); Not spitting anywhere in a public place and railway premises; Avoid overcrowding and to ensure distancing between passengers in trains including suburban trains.