The Southern Railway having cancelled hundreds of express trains due to the COVID-19 lockdown from March 22 to August 12, has refunded ₹44.50 crore with the State’s share being ₹28 crore.
A total of eight lakh passengers have cancelled their tickets using the liberalised refund rules involving no cancellation charges.
The refund amounts were disbursed through the counters of the passenger reservation system (PRS) opened in several important railway stations in the cities. Automated payments are being by IRCTC for online tickets.
Southern Railway has six divisions covering the two States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
In a press release issued by the Southern Railway, the Chennai division has disbursed the maximum amount of ₹12.80 crore followed by Salem refunding ₹6.60 crore, Madurai distributing ₹4.40 crore and Tiruchi around ₹4.20 crore.
In Kerala, an amount of ₹11.20 crore was repaid by the Thiruvananthapuram division and ₹5.20 crore by the Palakkad division.
The refund amounts were disbursed for train tickets booked through PRS counters for travel to be taken between March 22 and August 12 but were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The refund is eligible for upto six months, the press release added.
The refund amounts were distributed between May 22 and June 28 by operating counters in the railway stations including Dr. MGR Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Salem, Karur, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Dindigul and many other important locations functioning within the State.
In Chennai and neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, the PRS counters were closed to comply with the intense lockdown, announced from June 19 to 30 and in Madurai from June 23 to 30.