On the 10th day of the lockdown, every citizen is looking forward to April 15th so that they may get back to normal life. Due to the adverse effects of Coronavirus infection, passenger railway services were disrupted in India from 22nd to the 31st of March, and then it was extended to 14th April in view of the national lockdown. Even though passenger services were discontinued, and IRCTC announced the refund of the canceled tickets, goods trains still function.
In a tweet made on 2nd April, Ministry of Railways has dismissed the claims made by a section of the media that they had restarted taking bookings for journeys after 14th April. The time period for advanced ticket reservations is 120 days, so the booking window for April 15th was operational much before the lockdown started, the tweet added.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier asked the railways to ensure that essential goods, like medicines and foodstuff, may not be in dearth due to transportation issues. The Railway Ministry has also informed that Special Parcel trains are running on 8 routes across the country and that more than 9,000 goods trains are being operated by the IRCTC in spite of the lockdown.
Adding to the good news, besides IRCTC, airlines like IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet have started accepting domestic bookings for dates after April 14th. Though they did not make any official statements, bookings are showing for dates after the lockdown.
In the meantime, Coronavirus cases in India continue to increase in number: 2,591 cases have been confirmed, and 71 deaths have been recorded so far.