The Railways has cancelled more than 1.78 crore tickets since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and refunded an amount to the tune of Rs 2,727 crore, a RTI has found. The RTI has found that the Railways, which had suspended its passenger train services since March 25, cancelled 1,78,70,644 tickets.
PTI has earlier reported how perhaps for the first time the Railways has refunded more than it has earned from ticket bookings, registering a negative passenger segment revenue of Rs 1,066 crore in the COVID-19-hit first quarter of 2020-21.
Last year, while the Railways had refunded Rs 3,660.08 crore for the April 1-August 11 period, it also earned Rs 17,309.1 crore in the same period.
This is the first time when the refunds were more than the amount earned by the Railways from sale of tickets.
An official explained that due to the suspension of services, tickets booked for travel in April, May and June were offered refunds, while fewer tickets were booked during these three months and the ensuing period due to the restrictions.
The first three months of this financial year, when the Railways had to suspend all its regular passenger services, the national transporter’s 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).
In the last fiscal, it had earned Rs 4,345 crore in April, Rs 4,463 crore in May and Rs 4,589 crore in June. As of now, the Railways has cancelled all regular passenger services indefinitely.
In the first quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal, the Railways had earned Rs 4,345 crore in April, Rs 4,463 crore in May and Rs 4,589 crore in June.
In the RTI filed by Madhya Pradesh-based Chandra Shekhar Gaur, the Railways has said that no amount/cancellation charges has been deducted for cancellation of tickets for trains stopping due to COVID-19.