New Delhi: The railways ministry had announced that it would start bookings for passenger tickets at 4 pm Monday, but the IRCTC website remained down for at least 40 minutes after the appointed time. Subsequently, it was announced that the IRCTC would now take bookings after 6pm.
After half an hour of the website not functioning, the railways ministry tweeted: “Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website. Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted.”
Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website. Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 11, 2020
A ministry spokesperson told ThePrint that the website was down because of too much “rush”, leading to a temporary glitch.
“There is adequate bandwidth, the bookings will begin soon…The technical team is looking into it, we will start the bookings by 6 pm,” the spokesperson said.
Plan to restart train services
Sunday’s announcement that the Indian Railways will restart a small number of passenger trains from 12 May was seen as a major indication that the country could slowly move towards normalcy.
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The railways had shut down all passenger trains from 22 March, the day observed as ‘janata curfew’ at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after which India was brought under a strict lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Initially, operations are set to restart with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys), the government’s statement had said. These will run as special trains from New Delhi, connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
The railways have said that special services on new routes will be started gradually, based on the number of available coaches.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs Monday read: “Movement of trains shall be permitted by Ministry of Railways, in a graded manner in consultation with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).”
MHA issues SOPs for Movement of persons by Train:
▶️Movement of passengers to & fro railway station allowed only on confirmed e-ticket.
▶️Compulsory medical screening of passengers & only asymptomatic persons are allowed to travel#StayHome #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/gCPfQ9RDs2
— #IndiaFightsCorona (@COVIDNewsByMIB) May 11, 2020
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