Indian Railway Tatkal Bookings Begins
Indian Railways (IR) has started tatkal bookings for all special trains from June 29, 2020, a Central Railways (CR) official said. This will be applicable on journeys commencing from June 30, 2020, they added.
Special trains are those which have their serial number beginning with 0. IR at present operates 230 special trains (15 pairs) that were started to help migrants reach their hometowns during the lockdown after usual train services were halted to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“Tatkal Booking will commence from 29/06/2020 in all Special Trains (starting with 0 numbers) for journey commencing from 30/06/2020 onwards,” as tweeted by Chief Public Relations Officer of Central Railway.
To book tickets under Tatkal, a passenger must book their tickets after 10 am one day before the scheduled travel day for AC booking and after 11 am for the sleeper class.
The tickets can be booked through the IRCTC website and app. It is to be noted that tickets booked under Tatkal category are slightly more expensive than normal tickets. Earlier, the railways increased the Advanced Reservation Period (ARP) from 30 days to 120 days. The Railways in a statement had said that the reservation rules for the 30 special Rajdhani and 200 special mail and express trains were modified in view of the increased ARP.
The Indian Railways operates 230 special trains while other commercial trains were cancelled starting March 25 to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The railways earlier issued a notification stating that all commercial trains barring special Rajdhani, mail and express trains, have been cancelled till August 12.
"It has been decided that regular time-tabled passenger services including Mail and Express, passenger and suburban services stand cancelled up to 12.08.2020," the Railway Board said in the notification.
All the tickets booked for the regular time-tabled trams for the journey date from July 1 to August 12 also stand cancelled.
"We have only enabled refunds for trains which are not being operated and for which tickets have been booked prior to lock down and up to April 14. No trains which are presently operational have been cancelled. Special Trains will continue to run. As far as the running of more trains is concerned, all will be informed and bookings will be done, as and when the decision is taken about them. There no blanket order ruling out running of more trains till 12 August," a spokesperson from the Indian Railways said.
This was implemented with effect for journeys starting May 31 and allowed passengers to book in person, at computerised PRS counters, Post Offices and Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras rather than the IRCTC website alone.
The Railways had also said that Reservation against cancellation (RAC) tickets and waiting-list tickets will be issued in these trains but waitlisted passengers will not be allowed to board the trains.