In a significant move, the railways on Thursday allowed select reservation counters to open at stations from Friday, nearly two months after they were shut due to the coronavirus lockdown, with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal saying ‘we have to take India towards normalcy’.
He also said that an announcement on resumption of more trains will be made soon.
In an order, the railway board said that such counters along with the common service centres can open from May 22 for booking reserved tickets and the zonal railways can identify stations on which the ticket counters can open.
In a discussion with party colleague Sambit Patra, Goyal said that booking of train tickets will resume at nearly 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country from Friday, making the service accessible to those in remote locations where the availability of computers and internet is negligible or absent.
He said that the opening of ticket counters at stations will be graded as a protocol needed to be developed to ensure that there is no crowding there.
“We have to take India towards normalcy. We are developing a protocol to identify the stations where counters can be opened.
“We have to ensure that there are no large crowds gathering at counters to book tickets, so we are studying the situation and devising a protocol towards it,” Goyal said.
“We will also soon announce the resumption of more trains,” he further said during a conversation with his party colleague and Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra.