New Delhi, May 12, 2020-
The Railways on Monday said that “bare minimum” ticket counters will open across the country for freedom fighters, MPs on special routes and concession in train fare will only be provided to patients, students and people with disabilities.
The new order came a day after it announced it would run 15 pairs of Special air conditioned trains from New Delhi to several other cities from May 12.
The Railways order said that barest minimum ticket counters will be opened at stations from where the trains will originate, terminate or have stoppages enroute.
These ticket counters will be opened for the categories like HOR, sitting and former MP, MLAs or MLCs, freedom fighters, for fully reimbursable warrants or vouchers, tickets on free privilege passes and also issue card or duty pass to railway employees.
The ticket for the general categories of passengers can be booked only online from the IRCTC website.
The Railways further said that concession in train fare will be provided to people with disabilities, patients and students. It said that even senior citizens will not be eligible for getting concession in these special trains.
The Railways on Monday started taking bookings for the Special AC trains. The bookings were supposed to start at 4 p.m. but due to some technical reasons, only started at 6 p.m.
In first one and half hours, more than 18,000 tickets on all routes were sold.
Almost 45 days after suspending the passenger, mail and express train services amid the Covid-19 crisis, the Railways on Sunday announced to gradually resume the train services with these 15 pairs of AC trains.
According to railway officials these trains will run from New Delhi Station to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
All the coaches will be all AC with limited stoppage and the fare will be equivalent to Rajdhani Express train. The official further said that in AC three-tier coaches, 52 passengers will be allowed while in AC two-tier coaches, 48 passengers will be allowed keeping in mind the protocol of social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
According to railway officials, passengers need to arrive 90 minutes prior to departure of train for thermal screening. Passengers also need to carry their own linen, bed and food in the train. (Agency)