The Ministry of Railways on Tuesday said it is planning to run more special trains apart from the 230 plying currently, to ease passenger movement amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry has sought consent from state governments for the same.
"More special trains are being planned. State governments are being consulted," news agency PTI reported citing a Railway Ministry spokesperson.
The spokesperson, however, did not specify how many trains will be added to the network. Sources said the announcement for the new trains will be made in a couple of days, the news agency reported.
Last month, Indian Railways had announced that all regular passenger train services will remain suspended "until further notice", but 230 special trains will continue to be in service.
"This is to bring to the notice of all concerned that as decided and informed earlier as well, regular passenger and suburban train services will continue to remain suspended till further notice," the Railways had said.
"Local trains in Mumbai, which are presently being run on limited basis only on the requisition of the state government, will also continue to run," it had further said.
Passenger train services were suspended on March 22, three days before the imposition of a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to contain spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In the first three months of this financial year, Railways' revenue was in the negative -- Rs 531.12 crore in April, Rs 145.24 crore in May and Rs 390.6 in June (all in negative).
According to an RTI finding, it has cancelled more than 1.78 crore tickets since March this year due to coronavirus-led lockdown. Refunds amounting to Rs 2,727 crore have been granted to people whose tickets were cancelled. For the first time in its history, Indian Railways has refunded more than it has earned from tickets. In the first quarter of FY21, the Indian Railways has registered negative passenger segment revenue of Rs 1,066 crore.
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