Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal, on Thursday, informed the parliament that no cancellation fees will be charged on cancellation of tickets for 155 trains by the Railways, and that passengers would get a full refund. "No cancellation fee for 155 canceled trains. Passengers to get 100 per cent refund," Meghwal said.
Due to a reduction in passenger foot-fall due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Railways had decided to cancel over 150 trains across various zones in the country. The operation of these trains will remain canceled from March 20 to March 31.
Earlier on Wednesday, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal issued directives to constitute a six-member rapid response team from the Railway Board to coordinate the efforts of the Indian Railways across all zones. The decision to constitute a rapid response team was taken at the meeting over the railways' preparedness to contain the spread of COVID-19 in India.
According to the latest figures available on Thursday, the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India has risen to 182. Three deaths have been reported in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and West Delhi respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories.
Taking into consideration the rising number of Coronavirus cases, the Central Government on March 14 decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster." The government has also decided to go into a partial lockdown as it ordered the shut down of all educational institutions, places of social gatherings like swimming pools, spas, gyms, museums, and cultural centres.
(With inputs from ANI)