News Railways

Ludhiana: Railways shell out ₹4.15 lakh as refund to passengers affected by farmers’ protests

The Railways incurred heavy revenue losses due to cancellation or delay in running trains amid last four protests led by farmers wherein rail traffic in the state was blocked.

In these four agitations held in the past three months, a total amount of 4,15,520 was refunded to passengers, who got their tickets booked from the booking counters at the Ludhiana railway station.

According to officials, more than 70% of the reservations are made online and thus, the Railways incurred major losses by issuing refunds there.

“We physically refunded over 4 lakh at the Ludhiana railway station amid the recent farm protests, but the quantum of loss incurred by the Railways is huge as most of the refund was made online through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) application. A very few people now book their tickets at the railway station counters,” said a senior official.

As per the data, due to the rail traffic disruption amid farmers’ protest on August 20, refund of 1,73,110 was released at the ticket counters of Ludhiana railway station after six trains were cancelled and a few were delayed.

While passengers were refunded 93,460 on September 27 with a total of 25 trains being cancelled in the wake of the Bharat Bandh call by farmers, 52,320 was given back to the passengers by Ludhiana railway authorities on October 4.

Refund of 96,630 was issued to passengers at the Ludhiana railway station after 26 trains plying from or through here got delayed on October 18 due to a six-hour-long farmers’ agitation to protest against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

According to officials, in normal situations, full refund to the passengers is issued in case the delay of a train is of more than three hours or if the train has been cancelled by the Railways itself due to track repair work or derailment.

“In case of farmers’ protests where the trains get stuck, delayed for over three hours or cancelled; the fare for the travel portion is deducted and the rest is refunded. Suppose a passenger is travelling from Delhi to Amritsar and the train got stuck at Ambala due to protest by farmers, in such a situation the fare of his journey from Delhi to Ambala will be deducted and rest will be refunded,” added a senior railway official.

In order to get their refund online, passengers have to submit a ticket deposit report at the Railways app.

Another senior official said many rail commuters cancelled their tickets even the next day of the protest fearing harassment, causing further losses to the Railways.

Source link