The Railway Ministry on Monday stated that the concessions on railway tickets will be given to only certain categories of people. The Ministry, in a statement, said that the decision had been taken in order to decrease non-essential travel.
"In view of health advisory issued regarding COVID-19 and to discourage passengers from undertaking non-essential travel, it has been decided, as a special case, that no concessional Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) and Passenger Reservation System (PRS) tickets for all categories of passengers except students, 4 categories of Divyangjan and 11 categories of patients shall be issued," the Ministry said.'
The railways, on Sunday, announced that it will be gradually resuming operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi. The Ministry later published multiple guidelines which passengers will have to adhere to during their journey.
The Ministry said the state-run transporter shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and an adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as “Shramik Special” for stranded migrants.
Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations, as per the guidelines.
On Monday evening, when the bookings were supposed to open at 4pm, the IRCTC website crashed due to the heavy load, and the booking later started at 6pm.
During PM Modi's meeting with the Chief Ministers on Monday evening, Tamil Nadu CM Eddapadi K Palaniswami requested the Central government to not resume air and train services till May 31.