Low footfall at railway reservation counters

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When computerised Passenger Reservation (PRS) counters reopened on Friday, not many people thronged to book advanced tickets on various special trains being and to be operated by the Indian Railways.

The footfall were low since it was the first day of opening after two months of lockdown, said Railways officials hoping it would return to normal soon. Uncertainty over the health protocol (institutional quarantine) in destination States too could have dissuaded people from planning their journeys.

The Railways has already been running 15 pairs of air-conditioned specials between New Delhi and other cities, two intra-State trains in Karnataka, and had proposed to operate 100 pairs of special trains from June 1 for which bookings/cancellations could be made through PRS counters.

Four Railway Zones operating in Karnataka opened as many as 23 PRS counters in the State on Friday. Though the Railways initially had announced only online tickets would be available, it subsequently announced booking of tickets through PRS counters, post offices, Yatri Suvidha Kendras and official agents of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

PRS counters were made functional ensuring safety measures including sanitisation, social distancing and wearing of masks.

SWR operated PRS counters at Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi, Ballari, Hosapete, Vijayapura (Hubballi Division), KSR Bengaluru, Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru Cantonment, Bangarpet, Kengeri, Krishnarajapura (Bengaluru Division), Mysuru, Davanagere, Shivamogga and Hassan (Mysuru Division), according to CPRO E. Vijaya.

As many as 31 tickets for 74 passengers were sold in Mysuru Division; in Bengaluru division 320 tickets were sold for 747 passengers and in Hubballi division, 161 tickets were sold for 462 passengers.

Southern Railway operated its PRS counter in Mangaluru Junction and sold seven tickets for 15 passengers, said SR’s PRO at Palakkad Division M.K. Gopinathan. Central Railway through one PRS counter at Kalaburagi sold three tickets for 10 passengers. It would open three more counters, one exclusively for refund of cancelled tickets, at Kalaburagi from Monday, its Divisional Commercial Manager (PR) Pradeep Hirade told The Hindu. South Central Railway operated PRS counters at Raichur, Yadgir, Sedam, Saidapur and Nalwar, said its CPRO Ch. Rakesh.

Bookings for all trains, except Shramik Specials, can be made through these counters.

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