Ahead of the festivities, Indian Railways is likely to see full resumption of all passenger trains from April 1, 2021. In March last year on account of the Covid 19 led lockdown, Indian Railways completely halted its services but then has slowly and in a graded way started its different train services and currently over 65% of the total trains are now functional. In January alone, another 250 train services resumed their operations and more will be started gradually.
And earlier this month, Railways minister Piyush Goyal iterated that complete resumption of railways services shall be done in consultation with other stakeholders, meanwhile Covid 19 situation is being closely watched. "There is no such given date. All factors need to be considered and inputs of all stakeholders must be factored in before taking a decision in this regard," a railway spokesperson told a leading business daily.
Also, though the vaccination drive has begun in the country, the need is to still observe precautions. For now, all suburban or metro trains are operational.
At present, 704 local trains are running on the Western Railway route in Mumbai, through which, 3.95 lakh passengers are traveling. At the same time, 706 local trains are being run on the Central Railway route, in which about 4.57 lakh people are travelling.
Also anticipating higher passenger flow, the IRCTC's i-Pay, payment gateway has been upgraded to include the AutoPay feature. This ensures higher reliability in ticket booking and also reduces time involved in entering payment instruments details. Also, the facility shall reduce the refund time for Tatkal tickets that remain unconfirmed and attract auto-cancellation.