Over 5 lakh book train tickets over IRCTC

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2020

Indian Railways booked over 5.5 lakh passengers through 2.37 lakh tickets by afternoon for 100 regular trains, which will start from June 1, on the Indian Railways’ online ticket booking platform – Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

These trains are in addition to the trains being run for migrant populations (Shram Shakti trains), and special AC-trains, introduced on May 12.

As data for each train needs to be uploaded from both originating and destination centres, it is taking time, a railway source said, adding that uploading data is proving to be a challenge in Eastern States, which are hit by Amphan cyclone. Uploading all data for 100 trains in one day itself is a rare occurrence, added the source.

No unreserved tickets

On Wednesday night, Railways issued a list of 100 pairs of trains in each direction – a set 200 trains — for which online booking started at 10 AM on Thursday. Fare for these trains will be normal, said railways.

But for general (unreserved) coaches -- which are now reserved -- second class seating fare shall be charged and seat will be provided to all the passengers, said an official release. For these trains, tickets can be booked 30 days in advance, which is more than the seven-day ARP used for all AC trains, but less than the regular trains (which permitted 120 days advance booking).

Within hours of online ticket window opening, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the States will open-up counters to book train tickets at almost 1.7 lakh common service centres (CSC) on Friday and ticket booking counters will also open.

The Minister said that the Railways will make protocols for them to operate. CSCs -- located in far corners – will enable ticket booking for many who are not technically savvy. However, it is not clear whether CSCs are classified as “agents”, which as per the present set of rules are barred from booking tickets.

Despite the ban, there have been cases passenger paying extra to agents, who are using their private e-mail id and sophisticated software to book tickets.

Aarogya Setu app

Meanwhile, Railways asked all passengers to download and use the Aarogya Setu application. As per MHA guidelines the movement of passenger(s) as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting them to and from the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.

Both ticket booking counters of Indian Railways and CSCs have to maintain social distancing norms and take steps towards crowd management at counters.

Other regular passenger services including all mail/express, passenger and suburban services continue to remain cancelled until further advise. There will be no unreserved coach in the train.

Published on May 21, 2020

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