Indian Railways, which resumed its operations from today onwards (Tuesday) for 15 pairs of special trains, has earned Rs 16.15 crore from over 45,500 tickets booked on first day after reopening the online bookings, an IANS report quoted an official as saying.
The IRCTC website began booking tickets for special trains on Monday after 6 pm, two hours behind the scheduled opening time, and all AC-1 and AC-3 tickets for the Howrah-New Delhi train were sold within the first 10 minutes and all seats were reserved in 20 minutes.
Initially, the bookings were slated to open at 4 pm but got delayed due to a technical glitch.
The Indian Railways, which started the booking for the 15 pairs of Special trains almost two months after suspending the passenger, mail and express train services, have earned Rs 16.15 crore from over 45,500 tickets booked on Monday, officials said.
A senior railway ministry official said that on Monday tickets valued at Rs 16.15 crore were sold with 45,533 PNR generated.
He said, for 45,533 PNRs a total of 82,317 passengers will be travelling in the first week from these Special AC trains. The railways have on Sunday announced to partially operate 15 pairs of Special trains from May 12.
The Indian railways has issues several guidelines, health as well as related to bookings. Passengers have also been asked to arrive at the railway station 90 minutes prior to the departure of the train. Thermal screening of passengers will be done before they will be allowed to enter the station premises.
As per the guidelines, wearing masks is mandatory. Passengers have also been encouraged to carry their own blankets, water and food for the travel.
The national transporter has set special norms for air-conditioning inside the coaches and temperatures will be kept slightly higher than the usual. The official said that the Special trains will run at full capacity, but railway zones have been instructed to ensure that there are separate entry and exit gates at stations to the extent feasible so that there is no face-to-face movement or contact of passengers.
For now, the Indian Railways have issued a timetable for trains to be run between May 12 and May 20. They will run as daily, weekly or bi-weekly trains.
These trains will run between New Delhi and all major cities across the country: Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
All passenger services were suspended due to a lockdown announced on March 25 and the railways later started the on-demand Shramik Specials to ferry migrants stranded across the country. It, however, has been running freight and parcel services.