Since the time the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the nation in its talons, a lot of governmental work, companies, and other industries have come to a halt. The Ministry of Railways had also decided to cancel all the trains running during the lockdown period, which is March 25 to April 14. There have been certain murmurs around social media that the Railways will resume bookings on April 15, which have put people at unrest for a clarification of whether it is the truth or false.
There have been many reports flying across the online world which claim that the booking services of IRCTC will resume on April 15. It is the day after the lockdown ends. These claims are made by media reports and even on social media.
The Ministry of Railways tweeted that the reports claiming that the bookings resume on April 15 are incorrect. The tweet then clarifies that the online bookings of trains that run after April 15, 2020 were never closed in the first place. Here is the tweet by the Ministry of Railways:
Certain media reports have claimed that Railways has started reservation for post-lockdown period.— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) April 2, 2020
It is to clarify that reservation for journeys post 14th April was never stopped and is not related to any new announcement. pic.twitter.com/oJ7ZqxIx3q
Confusion between the booking of the trains and whether the trains are working or not seems to have created a mixture of real and fake news. The Ministry of Railways had announced that the trains running during the lockdown period, i.e. March 25 to April 14, will be cancelled. The bookings for these trains are in the process of cancellations and the passengers are also been given a full refund.
It is very important to note that the bookings of a train open 120 days prior to its running day. This means that the bookings for the trains in between the lockdown period were done approximately in the month of December. These bookings were cancelled after the lockdown was announced by PM Narendra Modi.
While window bookings for the trains after April 15 are closed, one can get their reservations done online on the official IRCTC website. These services are even during the period of the lockdown for the dates beyond April 15. This means that one does not have to wait until April 15 to book tickets and can do an online train booking. The only condition is that the date of the booking must be under 120 days. They can also look for the train status and train news on the website as well.
Google Trends shows the number of searches done by people regarding this news and reports. The searches reached a peak on April 2, at 6.30 pm in the evening. Though it sloped down later, there was yet another jump in the searches at 10.30 AM on April 3.