In the COVID-19-hit first quarter of the year 2020-21, Indian Railways had registered a negative passenger segment revenue of Rs 1,066 crore.
COVID-19 impact on Indian Railways: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.78 crore tickets have been cancelled by Indian Railways since March this year, according to a PTI report. An RTI has found that the national transporter refunded an amount to the tune of Rs 2,727 crore. The RTI has found that Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways had cancelled as many as 1,78,70,644 train tickets, the report said. Earlier, it was reported that perhaps for the first time the national transporter has refunded more than it has earned from ticket bookings. In the COVID-19-hit first quarter of the year 2020-21, Indian Railways had registered a negative passenger segment revenue of Rs 1,066 crore.
Last year, while Rs 3,660.08 crore was refunded by Indian Railways had for the April 1 – August 11 period, the national transporter had also earned Rs 17,309.1 crore in the same period. According to the report, this is the first time when the refunds granted were more than the amount earned by the national transporter from the sale of tickets. An official was quoted in the report saying that due to the suspension of train services, tickets booked by passengers for travel in the months of April, May, and June were offered refunds by Indian Railways, while during these three months, fewer train tickets were booked due to the restrictions.
During this financial year, in the first three months, when all the regular passenger services had to be cancelled, the revenue of the national transporter was in the negative – Rs 531.12 crore in the month of April, Rs 145.24 crore in the month of May and Rs 390.6 in the month of June (all the figures in negative). In the last financial year, Indian Railways had earned an amount of Rs 4,345 crore in April, Rs 4,463 crore in May and Rs 4,589 crore in the month of June. As of now, all regular passenger services are cancelled indefinitely by Indian Railways.
In the RTI filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaur, a Madhya Pradesh-based activist, the national transporter has said that no amount or cancellation charges have been deducted for the ticket cancellation for train services stopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.