Railways opens offline reservation counters for booking of tickets
The Indian Railways on Thursday said all facilities of booking and cancellation of reserved tickets will be available from May 22, including at counters available in railway premises.
The decision was taken as Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said “we have to take India towards normalcy”.
As all passenger railway services were suspended on March 25, the reservation counters across the country were also closed following the nationwide lockdown over novel coronavirus.
In a statement issued Thursday night, the Indian Railways said it has decided that w.e.f. 22.05.2020 facility of booking, cancellation of reserved tickets shall also be available at Post Offices, Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) licensees etc. and through authorised agents of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation(IRCTC) along with computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters of Indian Railways available in railway premises, reservation centres and Common Service Centers (CSC).
All concerned may adhere to standard social distancing guidelines and observe hygiene protocol in view of the spread of COVID-19 disease, it said.
Earlier on Thursday, over 2.3 lakh tickets were booked within six hours of opening the bookings for the 100 pairs of passenger trains that the railways will operationalise on June 1, officials said Thursday.
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.
The reservation for the same began at 10 am on Thursday. Till 4 pm, the Railways said, 2,37,751 tickets have been booked having 5,51,724 passengers. 101 trains are available in the system for booking, Railways said.
This is the second slew of special passenger services that marked the Railways graded restoration of its trains which were suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. These trains will have both AC and non-AC classes and fully reserved coaches.
These trains will be “special trains run on the pattern of regular trains” and will cover tier 2 cities and also major state capitals like Mumbai and Kolkata, Railways said.
Earlier special Rajdhani trains with only AC coaches connecting Delhi to other major cities were operated.