New Delhi: The Railways had not stopped bookings for journeys beginning 15 April.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the 21-day nationwide lockdown till 3 May. The initial spell of the drastic measure was scheduled to end at midnight of 14 April.
The total amount that will be refunded is around Rs 660 crore. Around 39 lakh bookings were made between April 15 and 3 May, a top official of the national transporter told PTI.
The Indian Railways has said that all passengers will get a full refund for tickets booked for the period of the extended lockdown.
It added that the amount would be automatically refunded to online customers, while those who booked tickets at the designated reservation counters could claim the refund till 31 July.
Following the prime minister’s announcement, the Indian Railways extended the suspension of all its passenger services till the end of the lockdown.
According to official data, a staggering 20 million people travel daily on nearly 15,000 passenger trains across the country.
The Railways said no advance reservation of train tickets, including e-tickets, will be allowed till further orders, though the facility of online cancellation will remain functional.
However, people on social media said that the Railways has deducted the convenience fee per online booking while making the refunds.
When train is cancelled, the passenger is refunded full fare. Convenience fees is not refunded which are nominal to an individual and used for day-to-day maintenance and upgradation of the ticketing facility, the railways explained in a statement.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) charges nominal convenience fee of Rs 15 per ticket for booking non AC travel and Rs 30 for air conditioned and first class tickets.
“A full refund will also be there for those cancelling advance bookings for trains not cancelled yet,” the national transporter said.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, on an average, around 8.5 lakh tickets were booked on the IRCTC website daily.
After the prime minister’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown across the country, the railways had announced suspension of all passenger services till 14 April.