In the Mumbai Division of Western Railways, until March 29, more than nine lakh passengers cancelled their train tickets and the zone has refunded Rs 62.11 crore.
Indian Railways suffers loss due to train cancellations! The Western Railway zone suffered a loss of around Rs 180 crore from cancellation of train services on account of the nationwide lockdown for the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to a PTI report, before March 22, the loss was Rs 78.50 crore and between March 23 and 29, the loss was Rs 100.03 crore. The Western Railway said in a release that the zone has suffered a loss of Rs 178.5 crore in suburban as well as non-suburban train services till March 29. In the Mumbai Division of Western Railways, until March 29, more than nine lakh passengers cancelled their train tickets and the zone has refunded Rs 62.11 crore, it said.
Indian Railways has asked passengers not to cancel their train tickets booked till April 14 travel date after the lockdown was announced. According to the national transporter, full refund on these train tickets will automatically be provided.
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The Railway Ministry had suspended all passenger train operations across the nation from March 23 to enforce the lockdown to avoid spread of the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Recently, the national transporter said that it would be prepared to modify a total of 20,000 coaches into quarantine or isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country, as part of COVID-19 preparedness.
In this regard, consultations were also held with the Medical Department of various railway zones, Armed Forces Medical Services, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health. So far, five zones of Indian Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine or isolation coaches.
According to the Railway Ministry, these 20,000 modified coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh beds for COVID-19 isolation needs. Work has already started for modification of 5,000 coaches into quarantine or isolation coaches. These 5,000 number of coaches would be having the capacity to accommodate up to 80,000 beds. One coach is likely to have 16 beds for quarantine or isolation of patients. The ministry further stated that only non-air-conditioned ICF (Integral Coach Factory) sleeper coaches are being planned by Indian Railways to be utilized for conversion into quarantine or isolation coaches.