The Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has cancelled the operation of the country`s first private train Tejas Express from Monday.
The railways has suspended the operations of its corporate trains run by the IRCTC from Lucknow to Delhi and Ahmedabad to Mumbai as they found few takers amidst the coronavirus pandemic following the resumption of services more than a month ago.
The operations were terminated due to a shortage of passengers.
Notably, the Tejas Express had resumed operations in October after its operation was suspended due to coronavirus.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), a public sector undertaking (PSU) of the Ministry of Railways, had restarted the operation of its fleet of Tejas Express trains from October 17, after it was suspended due to the pandemic.
According to the IRCTC, the services were resumed as the COVID situation appeared to move towards normal.
"However, lately there is a surge in the number of COVID cases. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases, the Indian Railways has been advocating maintaining social distancing etc. And advising passengers to travel by trains only if it is absolutely necessary. Being aware of the COVID situation, lesser number of persons are travelling in both the Tejas express. Thus, IRCTC has temporarily halted their operations," a statement from the rail PSU said.
IRCTC has cancelled the Lucknow-New Delhi (82501/82502) Tejas Express from November 23 while the Ahmedabad-Mumbai (82901/82902) Tejas Express from November 24.
"The management has decided to cancel all departures of the IRCTC Tejas trains due to low occupancy levels resulting from Covid-19 pandemic. The company will review its decision after seeing the occupancy level of other trains of the Indian Railways operating in both these routes," IRCTC said in a statement.
The present position will be reviewed to revive the operation of the trains in December.
The two Tejas trains between Lucknow-New Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai were resumed from October 17 in view of the festival rush.
The operation of both the trains was stopped on March 19 due to the pandemic. IRCTC had taken several steps to run Tejas Express keeping in mind the coronavirus outbreak.
Sources said that the occupancy of Tejas Express was around 25 to 40 per cent after the resumption of operation as against 50-80 per cent before the coronavirus lockdown.
(With agency inputs)