Screening of passengers at Churchgate railway station.
Screening of passengers at Churchgate railway station.
Photo by Pratip Acharya

In the wake of spread of coronavirus in the country, Indian Railways has issued an advisory to avoid crowding and practice social distancing.

Well, as several festivals are around the corner, people had booked their tickets to go back home and some had even planned a business trip or a vacation. However, the government has put restrictions and cancelled several trains till March 31 to contain the spread of virus.

Cancellation and seeking refund of tickets could be a tedious process otherwise but now Indian Railways has decided to relax refund rules for tickets booked under Passenger Reservation System (PRS). It has advised the passengers to avail the facility and avoid coming to the railway station.

The relaxation is for journey period from March 21- April 15 2020. The statement issued by the railways said that all rules will remain unchanged for e-ticket as the passenger does not need to come to the station for ticket refund.

In case the train is cancelled by the railways, refund can be taken on submission of ticket upto 45 days from the date of journey.

If the train is not cancelled but the passenger does not want to travel, Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) can be filed within 30 days from the date of the journey.

TDR can also be submitted to the chief commercial officer for getting the refund within 60 days of filing of TDR subject to verification from train chart, instead of extant rule of 10 days, the order stated.

For passengers who want to cancel tickets through 139, can get refund across the counter within 30 days from the date of journey instead of up to scheduled departure of the train.

Check more details;

Earlier, Indian Railways had found four passengers travelling in Godan Express from Mumbai to Jabalpur on March 16 - who tested positive on Friday. They had come from Dubai last week.

"Such cases are being found on Railways. Public is requested not to travel on passenger and long distance trains unless absolutely necessary. Be safe and keep others safe," tweeted Ministry of Railways.

On Saturday morning, thousands - mainly daily wage workers thronged at Kurla Terminus to leave the city as Mumbai witnesses a shutdown. The workers, who won't have any income during this time, waited in line to be thermally checked. However, how long it will take to check everyone is a topic of concern. What's worse: Kurla Terminus has only one thermal checker and it was quite difficult for the officials to manage the crowd who were all set to leave the city.

So far India has reported over 250 cases and four people have succumbed to the deadly virus, according to the Health Ministry.

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