The Indian Railways on Saturday chose to relax refund rules for passengers who have booked their tickets for travel between March 21 and April 15, in order to reduce overcrowding of trains amid the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported. The railways announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight and said only goods trains will run during the said period. Train travel which involves hundreds grouped together in a relatively small space, is seen as potentially fertile for the virus to multiply and spread. It was also revealed that two who were isolated in hospitals had travelled in the Bangalore-Delhi Rajadhani express.
Zonal Railways have been advised to ensure strict adherence to the instructions.
Though trains are being disinfected, and wiped clean more frequently than is usual, the authorities acknowledged that it was virtually impossible to do it after every stop.
A deserted railway station on Sunday.
Prior to Sunday's announcement, the Railways on Saturday cautioned people against travelling, cancelled more than 3,000 trains, relaxed refund rules, besides shutting down its museums and parks amid a spurt in coronavirus cases. This can be done only in a phased manner.
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Of this amount, the state will spend $30 million to lease two medical facilities - Seton Medical Center in Daly City and St. The Democratic governor said parts of the state were seeing infection rates double every four days.
"Fares up to Rs80 million refunded to the passengers due to cancellation of the train operations".
The trains were earlier canceled for the nationwide Janata Curfew on Sunday. Officers were working out a plan till 4 am Sunday with the top brass of Railways.
Railways had been taking emergency measures to avoid crowding in trains.
Moreover, Indian Railways has made a decision to relax its refund policy for tickets booked from its counters.
"The others who booked their tickets online or using other services are not required to visit the railway stations as the similar platform used for booking goal should be utilized for cancellation of the tickets", they said adding that the online tickets' holders would also avail from the full refund policy.