All regular mail, express and passenger services as well as suburban trains which had been cancelled till June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic will now remain cancelled till August 12, the Railway Board said on Thursday.
Sources said the decision was taken keeping in mind the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.
However, all special trains — 15 pairs running on the Rajdhani routes since May 12 and 100 pairs of mail/express trains operating since June 1 — will continue, they said.
The limited special suburban services which began recently in Mumbai to ferry essential services personnel identified by the local authorities will also continue to run, officials said.
“All tickets booked for the regular time-tabled trains for journey date from 01.07.20 to 12.08.20 also stand cancelled. Full refund will be generated,” the Railway Board order stated.
Earlier, the Railways had cancelled all trains till June 30.
A railway spokesperson said during the lockdown period booking of tickets was allowed till April 14, 2020 with an advance reservation period of 120 days.
“Some of the passengers had booked tickets for regular trains being run before lockdown for the journey up to 12 August, 2020 (120 days from 14 April 2020). In order to facilitate full refunds to those passengers who had booked tickets on or prior to April 14, 2020, these bookings have been cancelled, he said.
The spokesperson also said the Railways is monitoring occupancy position of these special trains on a regular basis and whenever a decision is taken to introduce new special trains, its schedule will be notified.
Regular train services have been disrupted days ahead of the nationwide lockdown which began from March 25. The Railways has also run more than 4,000 Shramik Special trains since May 1 to ferry migrant workers back to their home states.
Other than these services, the entire passenger services had been unoperational. However, it continued to run its freight and parcel services.
A record spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday triggered the biggest single-day jump of close to 17,000 infections in the country even as Maharashtra, the state worst-hit by the pandemic, decided to undertake antigen and rapid antibody tests for the disease.
According to the Union Health Ministry data, COVID-19 cases rose by the highest-ever number of 16,922 to reach 4,73,105, while the death toll climbed to 14,894 with 418 new fatalities. This was the sixth consecutive day when coronavirus cases increased by more than 14,000.
Consequently, India has added 92,573 cases since June 20, and over 2.82 lakh this month alone since June 1.