The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has added a new feature on its online booking platform, which will allow it to take consent from passengers for their travel in special trains. The decision has been taken after a special train carrying around 140 passengers from Delhi to Bengaluru had to be hauled back as people refused to be quarantined and created a ruckus at the station. The railways had to attach an extra bogie and send back around 15 passengers who refused to be quarantined. The passengers paid for their tickets.
The new rule, mentioned in a pop-up on its website, reads: "I have read the health advisory issued by my destination state. I accept and shall abide by the same" and requires the passenger to click on 'I agree' to move forward and book tickets."
The passenger will only be allowed to book a ticket if he or she agrees with the quarantine protocol. According to IRCTC platform, a pop-up appears as a passenger opens the website or app. Those clicking on the 'disagree' button won't be able to book a ticket.
The message is being displayed in Hindi as well as English. The new rule is part of a growing list of "mandatory" protocols that the railways has issued due to travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier, railways made it mandatory for passengers to download the government's contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu and also made it compulsory for passengers to list their destination address before they could book tickets on the IRCTC portal. It has also made wearing masks and social distancing mandatory during travel. The special Rajdhanis are travelling between 15 major cities and the national capital.