Ticket reservation counters at railway stations will re-open in a phased manner beginning Friday, the railway ministry said on Thursday.The ministry has also allowed the booking of train tickets through Common Service Centers (CSCs) and agents. “ Opening of all these booking facilities once again will mark an important step in the graded restoration of passenger railway services and making the task of ticket booking easy for all prospective travelers from all parts of India in reserved trains. Zonal railways may adhere to standard social distancing guidelines and observe the hygiene protocols in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry said.
Booking of train tickets will resume at around 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country from Friday onward, union railway minister Piyush Goyal also said on Thursday. Railways will also allow booking at counters across the station soon, he said. This will make the service accessible to those in remote locations. The minister said bookings will also resume at counters at specific railway stations over the next two to three days. “ We will announce resumption of more trains. It is time 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. Railways on Tuesday announced it will run 200 special passenger trains a day from June 1 and online ticket booking was scheduled to open Thursday.