Indian Railways is all set to refund a staggering amount of Rs.1,490 crore towards the cancellation of 94 lakh ticket bookings made by the passengers prior to the coronavirus lockdown.
According to PTI, an amount of Rs 830 crore will be refunded for 55 lakh bookings made for travel journeys between March 22 and April 14.
An amount of Rs 660 crore will be refunded for around 39 lakh bookings made for travel between April 15 and May 3, they said.
According to the Ministry of Railways, all passengers will get a full refund for the tickets that were booked during the period when train services remain suspended.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) also issued instructions regarding the cancellation of tickets, it stated that the refund amount would be automatically credited to online customers, while those booked tickets at the designated counters could claim the refund till July 31.
Reportedly, social media users complained of the deduction of the convenience fee per online ticket in the refunds.
The national carrier, in a statement, said that the passengers are refunded full fare if the train services are suspended.
However, Railways charges a nominal amount of Rs. 15 per ticket for AC travel and Rs 30 for air-conditioned and first-class tickets as a convenience fee.
It further explained that the convenience fees is not refunded in the process as they are considered nominal to an individual and used towards everyday maintenance and up-gradation of the ticketing facility.
"A full refund will also be there for those cancelling advance bookings for trains not cancelled yet," it said.
India went under a total lockdown of 21 days from March 25 to April 14. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the lockdown till May 3.
It is important to note that despite speculations around the lockdown extension, the Railways had not stopped bookings for journeys beginning April 15.