Indian Railways has extended the time limit beyond six months and up to nine months from the date of the journey for cancellation of passenger reservation system (PRS) counter tickets and for claiming refund of fare across reservation counters. According to a statement released by the Railway Ministry, the time limit is extended for the tickets between the journey period – March 21, 2020 to July 31, 2020. The relaxation has been given for the submission of PRS counter tickets up to six months from the date of the journey. This relaxation is applicable only for the regular timetabled trains cancelled by Indian Railways.
In case of those train tickets cancelled through 139 or through the official e-ticketing IRCTC website, the time limit for surrendering of such tickets for the above-mentioned journey period, across reservation counter, is upto nine months from the date of journey. After the lapse of six months from the date of the journey, many railway passengers may have deposited the tickets to the claims office of zonal railways through ticket deposit receipt (TDR) or through the general application along with original train tickets. The full refund of fare on such PRS counter tickets will also be allowed for such passengers.
Earlier, the guidelines for cancellation of tickets and refund of fare in view of the COVID-19 situation were issued. As per instructions for trains cancelled by Indian Railways, the relaxation has been given for submission of the PRS counter tickets upto six months from the date of journey, instead of three days excluding the day to journey. In case the PRS counter tickets are cancelled through 139 or through the IRCTC website, the refund across the counter will be provided upto six months from the date of journey.
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) introduced a new rule for train ticket booking in November 2020. Seats are now available five minutes before the train leaves the station, as the railway authorities restored the pre-COVID system of preparing the second reservation chart half an hour before the departure time of the train.