Indian Railways resumes IRCTC offline train ticket booking at reservation counters in railway stations
While booking of train tickets has resumed at around 1.7 lakh offline common service centers and ticketing agents across India from today, it has also been confirmed that booking of only reserved tickets has begun at select counters of different railway stations. This is the first time the services are resuming ever since these facilities were shut since March 25, when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak-necessitated nationwide lockdown began.
“From today, the booking and cancellation of reserved tickets shall also be available at Post Offices, Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra licensees, and through authorised agents of the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), along with the Passenger Reservation System counters of reservation centers and Common Service Centers,” the Indian Railways said in a statement on Friday.
An order by the Railway Board had earlier instructed the zonal railways to decide and notify the opening of the reservation counters according to local needs and conditions.
The ticket reservation facilities are being resumed in a phased manner and the information about services in respective locations and timings will be delivered as per local needs and conditions.
The Railways Board has also instructed that the zonal railways should adhere to standard social distancing guidelines and observe the hygiene protocols in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, which is spreading like wildfire across the country.
The Railways on Thursday released a list of 100 pairs of trains that it will operate from June 1. The list includes popular trains such as Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdi and Poorva Express and connects all major cities. See full list here.
Meanwhile, the Shramik Special trains will continue to be handled by local state governments as per the existing protocols. “The opening of these booking facilities will significantly reduce the burden on passengers, many of whom depend on counter tickets to travel,” the Railways Board had said in its order.
Earlier, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the central government was developing a proper ‘protocol’ in this regard.
“We are going to announce the resumption of more trains in the upcoming days. We have also permitted the operation of shops at railway stations. However, only takeaways will be allowed,” the minister had said.