Railways incur ₹450 crore loss, around 7 million cancelled tickets due to COVID-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 19, 2020 Published on March 19, 2020

Last week, the railways had increased the price of the platform ticket from ₹10 to ₹50 to ‘control crowd’.

The Indian Railways have witnessed a plunge of ₹450 crores in its earnings over the last week as around 180 trains have been cancelled in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country, Hindustan Times reported.

According to the rail ministry, the national carrier witnessed a decline of 6.9 million passengers in the reserved category that is an 80 per cent spike in cancellation when juxtaposed to the same period last year. The fall is around 45% over the previous seven days.

On Wednesday, the railways had cancelled nine trains due to low occupancy. While, on Tuesday, it had to cancel 85 trains including the trains that run on the major routes. The move was also taken to contain crowds at platforms and trains amid the coronavirus pandemic, as per media reports.

A review meeting was conducted by the rail ministry to discuss the precautions and measures taken to contain the virus from mass spreading in trains and platforms. The committee has also established a six-member ‘COVID-19 rapid response team’ comprising six Executive Directors from Railway Board to coordinate with all railway zones.

According to the ministry, the team will coordinate all COVID-19 preparedness activities. One nodal officer from each zone will serve as a point of contact for all COVID-19 preparedness measures and will be in constant touch with the COVID-19 Response team of Railway Board.

Ministry’s official statement added that it would also initiate quarantine facilities all over the railway network for any eventuality, HT report added.

Last week, the railways had increased the price of the platform ticket from ₹10 to ₹50 to ‘control crowd’.

Recently, the Indian railways have also noticed people suspected to carry coronavirus flouting their quarantine period and travelling on trains including Google employee’s wife who took a train to Agra to escape the quarantine period. Another case was reported on Wednesday when a group of seven Indonesian nationals boarded a train in Telangana and were immediately alighted and put in the isolation. The Indonesians spiked the number of cases in the state to 13.

Published on March 19, 2020

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