In a first, the Ministry of Railways has withdrawn concessions for all categories of passengers, except students, persons with disabilities and patients, to discourage non-essential travel.
Citing a health advisory issued to control the spread of COVID-19, the railways said as a special case, no concessional general and computerised reservation tickets for bookings made on or after March 20, 2020, till further advice.
The railways provides rail travel concessions to 51 categories of people, including senior citizens, sportspersons, those nationally awarded, journalists, and unemployed youth.
The necessary changes in the software would be made by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC) that manage the ticketing systems.
The move comes in the backdrop of reports that there was a huge congregation of people at major railway stations and some trains, despite travel advisory that the number should be restricted to contain the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the railways decided to de-train passengers with ‘Home Quarantined’ stamped on their hands by airport health officials.
News Soiurce: The Hindu