IRCTC Latest News Today: Issuing a clarification, the Indian Railways on Friday quashed the media reports suggesting that the Indian Railways has been charging extra fees from the passengers. Referring to such news reports, the Indian Railways said the reports are is misleading and not based on all the facts.Also Read - UK Classifies New Form Of Omicron As 'Variant Under Investigation'

“Festival / Holiday special trains were started as per the long standing practice to clear the rush. Festivals have been continuing and even today the harvest festival is being celebrated. This year there has been pent up demand on many sectors on which the festival trains were running. These festival trains have continued to clear the rush,” the Ministry of Railways said in an official statement. Also Read - Thailand Tourism Latest Update: Thailand Opens up For Quarantine-Free Entry For Vaccinated Visitors

The ministry further stated that despite low occupancy, Railways has been running trains in Covid times and operating in public welfare. Also Read - Adult Asthma Patients Examine Mask Wearing Experiences: Study

“It may be noted that passenger operations have always been subsidized by railways. Railways bear loss for travel by passenger. Railways has been running trains in covid times in most challenging circumstances. Running in low occupancy in many sections and still operating in public welfare. Not only this, Railways has taken special care about the travel by those traveling by lowest fare in trains so that even in Covid times they bear the least burden,” the ministry said further.

As per updates from the Railway Ministry, 40 per cent of the passengers have travelled in 2S class coaches in much better travelling conditions than pre-pandemic, unreserved travelling situations. As per the railway policy, passengers of the 2S class, even in special fare case are not charged more than an additional amount of Rs 15.

“Indian Railways has been constantly increasing the number of trains in a graded manner. Full restoration of regular services of passenger trains, to pre-covid times, is to be considered keeping in view a range of factors and operational circumstances,” it said.

In the statement, the Railways further added that it had to stop running regular trains due to Covid-related nationwide lockdown on 22 March 2020 as a measure to counter the spread of coronavirus and trains are being added in a graded manner.

“Even during challenging times of Covid, Indian Railways has operationalized almost 60 % of the Mail/Express trains as compared to the pre-lockdown times. 77% of these special trains have fares of regular trains. Around 250 trains daily are running as trains with special fares,” the ministry said.