Indian Railway

Indian Railways, because of coronavirus lockdown has shut all the passenger train services till 14th April. The national transporter is updating us every day about the measures they’re taking to combat with coronavirus. It is declared pandemic throughout the world which has led to the cancelation of train services for the first time in the history of Indian Railways. Isolation coaches are being made by the Railways for coronavirus patients. Though, entire India is appreciating and expressing their deepest gratitude to railway workers for their active participation; on the other end questions like “counter ticket cancellation refund procedure in lockdown” or “railway ticket cancellation rules in lockdown” are daunting their mind. Passengers who had booked their tickets without predicting the unwelcome guest in India (Coronavirus) are seen confused about the cancelation of tickets and refund rules related to cancelation of tickets.

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Indian Railways had to announce a complete lockdown of its train running system. Goods train being an exception was allowed to run to continue the supply of essential commodities. Reservations and unreserved ticketing have been stopped till 14th April. Recently, the internet was flooded with the news that bookings for the journey have been started for 15th April, post lockdown. With all the news floating around web, passengers with a booked ticket are perplexed as to what refund rules to follow and which news to believe in. However, Railways is clarifying the doubts related to refund for cancelled train tickets due to lockdown. It has clearly stated that passengers have to make no effort to cancel their ticket online and the full amount will be directly credited to their respective bank accounts.

Recommended Read: “Don’t cancel train tickets, you will get refund”- Says IRCTC

Train Ticket Cancellation Charges! What will IRCTC Charge after Cancelation of Tickets?
In General conditions, the refund rules remain the same. A fixed cancelation charge is deducted from the booking amount as mentioned below.

  • AC Tier-3 Class / Executive Class: Rs 240
  • AC Tier-2 Class / First Class: Rs 200
  • AC Tier-3 / AC Chair Car / AC 3 Economy: Rs 180
  • Sleeper Class: Rs 120
  • Second Seating Class: Rs 60

These charges get updated or remain the same as per the rail budget announced. But it can be amended during the time of emergency like we are facing now. In such cases, these refund rules are stopped being operational and passengers are entitled to a full refund for trains canceled by Indian Railways. Moreover, during coronavirus outbreak; passengers were warned by the IRCTC that any attempt to cancel ticket online will lead to deduction of cancelation charges and the rest amount will be refunded. However, the ticket holders in such a chaotic situation shouldn’t worry about their refund as IRCTC has drafted some new rules for refund of tickets booked before COVID-19 lockdown

If Train is Cancelled then How to Get Refund from IRCTC
It is a known fact that if anyone cancels ticket online then IRCTC will not refund the entire amount. It will deduct the cancelation charges and refund the rest amount. However, there’re some new rules introduced. Let us ponder on them.

FOR IRCTC E-TICKETS: No need to cancel tickets for the trains canceled by Indian Railways. The Refund will be automatically granted and will reflect in your account after 2-7 business days of cancelation.
FOR PRS COUNTER TICKET: Indian Railways has extended the time of cancelation of counter tickets till June 21st. Passengers’ can head to PRS counters to cancel their tickets. You will get full refund.

There’re many cases where passengers have received a partial refund. In such a case, you needn’t worry. Railways will refund full amount subject to some rules to be followed by the passenger.

Refund of balance amount by IRCTC on online tickets is fragmented in two parts:

  1. For the tickets canceled before 27th March 2020
  2. For the tickets canceled after 27th March 2020

It is to be noted that for the tickets canceled before 27th March; the balance refund for the same will be credited by the Indian Railways. So, passengers with canceled tickets and partial refund should not worry and wait for their refund.

For the tickets canceled after 27th March 2020, the national transporter will refund the full amount to the passenger in their account. For this, passengers don’t have to cancel the ticket on their own. Provisions for the same have already been made.

For Railway Counter Ticket:
For PRS counter tickets cancelled before 27 March 2020: For availing the balance refund amount, a passenger has to file a TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt) with journey details by filling a form to the Chief Commercial Manager (Claims) or Chief Claims Officer of any Zonal Railways Head Quarters up to the period 21 June 2020.

For PRS counter tickets cancelled before 27 March 2020: In this case, full refund will be granted to the ticket holder.

To Get the balance Refund; the application has to be given to the Chief Claims Officer/Chief Commercial Manager addressing him with the subject “Refund of cancelation charges or clerkage charge levied on the canceled tickets”. In the body of the application one has to mention the details of the journey which is as follows:

  1. PNR number
  2. Train name and number
  3. Date of journey
  4. From and To stations
  5. Name of passengers
  6. Mobile number of passenger
  7. Class of travel
  8. Date of cancellation of tickets
  9. Amount deducted as cancellation or clerkage charge
  10. Complete postal address with Pin code
  11. Account number with IFSC code

Railway Counter Ticket Cancellation Online Due to Lockdown
IRCTC has given a feature of cancelation of PRS counter ticket via online method. One can log in to the IRCTC portal and choose to cancel PRS ticket online by entering the PNR number and date of journey. The passenger will receive a message and further he/she can contact the PRS counter and get their refund. However, it is suggested not to use this feature and wait for some time as the counter ticket can be canceled by June 21st. We would request the ticket holders to cross the lockdown period and then take steps to cancel their via PRS counter.

Did not receive refund from IRCTC? How Can I Check my Refund Status?
It is advised to passengers to check refund status on Enter your PNR number and Date of Journey. You will receive the status of your refund online.

I have received the refund message but no refund amount credited in my account?
In general, IRCTC sends a message to ticket holders that their tickets have been canceled and refund will be granted in 2-7 business days. If you have received the same message during the lockdown period, IRCTC doesn’t assure you the refund within 7 business days. It can take more days.

How can I contact IRCTC for refund?
IRCTC has two customer care numbers on which ticket holders can contact and know their refund status. Apart from these numbers, there’re email ids to connect with.
Customer Care Numbers: 07556610661, 07554090600 (At this time of emergency, there’re only few customer care executives present to answer your query. So, call on these numbers only when you feel it as the last resort.)

For tickets booked through IRCTC:
For Cancellation E-tickets:

Indian Railways is actively participating to uplift our country from coronavirus pandemic. It requests all its ticket holders to wait patiently as their refund will be granted by 21 June.

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Author: Rohit Choubey

Rohit is an avid guest blogger as well an eminent digital marketeer. He has immense passion towards food blogging. His hobbies include travelling, cooking and watching movies. He is the content analyst at RailRestro