The Indian Railways on Friday clarified that no new order for cancellation of regular trains has been issued. The latest order issued Thursday is regarding refund for those people who had booked their tickets upto April 14.
"We have only enabled refunds for trains which are not being operated and for which tickets have been booked prior to lock down and upto 14.04.2020. No trains which are presently operational have been cancelled. Special Trains will continue to run," a Railway spokesperson told Outlook.
"During lockdown period, booking of tickets was allowed till April 14, 2020 with advance reservation period of 120 days. Some of the passengers had booked tickets for regular trains being run before lockdown for the journey upto August 12, 2020 (120 days from April, 14 2020). In order to facilitate full refunds to these passengers who had booked tickets on or prior to April 14, these bookings have been canceled," he said.
The spokesperson also said the Railways is monitoring occupancy position of these special trains on a regular basis and whenever a decision is taken to introduce new special trains, its schedule will be notified.
The Railway Board on Thursday announced that regular mail, express and passenger services as well as suburban trains which had been cancelled till June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic will now remain cancelled till August 12.
Sources told news agency PTI that the decision was taken keeping in mind the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Regular train services have been disrupted days ahead of the nationwide lockdown which began from March 25. The Railways has also run more than 4,000 Shramik Special trains since May 1 to ferry migrant workers back to their home states.
A record spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Friday triggered the biggest single-day jump of over 17,000 infections in the country even as Maharashtra, the state worst-hit by the pandemic, decided to undertake antigen and rapid antibody tests for the disease.