Mumbai: Six long hours is the wait that passengers had to go through to get their refund for tickets that were cancelled by Railways after Covid-19 outbreak which led to complete lockdown.
On Tuesday morning, nearly 200 passengers thronged the Andheri Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters reopened after a two-month closure due to Covid-19 regulations.
Security personnel had made arrangements to ensure physical distancing and avoid crowding on the premises. Thermal screening and a foot-operated sanitiser were also kept at the entrance point.
Santosh Katare, resident of Oshiwara who reached Andheri railway station on Tuesday morning to get the refund of booked tickets. But there are very few PRS counters open for refunds which led to a long wait.
“I had booked tickets for Solapur in the month of April, but due to lockdown, all trains were cancelled. So there was a question whether we will get the refunds or not but later railway issued dates for refund for which they started PRS counters which are very less. So many people thronged at one time causing delay,” Katare said.
Katare said they had to wait in a queue for more than six hours without having food and along with them there were many senior citizens who were also in a queue. “I had to wait for six hours for my turn and it was also learnt the counter was not only for refunds but also for booking tickets for further journeys,” he added.
“Railway should open four to six PRS counters at one station so that the crowd can be distributed accordingly. Moreover, for senior citizens there should be a separate counter,” he demanded.
Railway officials said they are following all protocols to avoid spreading of infection for which security personnel have been given instructions. They can open only a few counters for now to avoid crowds on the railway premises. “If we open many PRS counter at one station, then huge number of people will be thronged which can lead to the spread of infection,” he said.