The Indian Railways on Thursday announced the cancellation of all scheduled passenger and suburban trains till August 12. While the Ministry of Railways did not give any reason for the cancellation, a source in the railways said that the rising number of COVID-19 cases is the reason.
The ministry has declared that passengers who have booked tickets in time-tabled trains between July 1 to August 12 will get a full refund. Passengers who have booked their tickets online will get the refund amount directly in their accounts. Passengers who have booked tickets from the ticket window can claim a refund within six months of the journey date. They will be required to file a Ticket Deposit Receipt at the railway station within two months and will get the refund amount after verification.
The railways have also clarified that the special trains it has been operating since June 1 and the Shramik trains for migrants have not been cancelled. Furthermore, the local train services which are being operated for essential staff in Mumbai will also not be affected by this order.
ALERT! Indian Railway Update-- Existing running trains and local trains for essentials will continue. Regular time-tabled trains will continue to be cancelled till August 12. @mid_day pic.twitter.com/HBkAAXBJek— Rajendra B. Aklekar (@rajtoday) June 25, 2020
The Indian Railways had halted all its operations except for freight trains since March 25 after a nation-wide lockdown was announced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
With migrants undertaking arduous journeys on foot to reach their home states, the railways began running special Shramik trains for migrants.
30 Rajdhani services were started from May 12 to connect New Delhi to parts of the country. Since then, the railways have been running 200 more special trains across the country.
Only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the trains. Wearing of face masks is mandatory and passengers are required to reach the station 90 minutes before departure to undergo thermal screening. Only limited trains have provisions for providing food and drinking water while no blankets will be provided to the passengers.