New Delhi: In a significant move, the railways on Thursday allowed select reservation counters to open at stations from Friday, nearly two months after they were shut due to the coronavirus lockdown, with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal saying "we have to take India towards normalcy".
He also said that an announcement on resumption of more trains will be made soon. The railways had started bookings for the 100 pairs of special trains with both air conditioned and non-air conditioned services which will begin operations from June 1.
In an order, the railway board said that such counters along with the common service centres can open from May 22 for booking reserved tickets and the zonal railways can identify stations on which the ticket counters can open.
Goyal said that booking of train tickets will resume at nearly 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country from Friday, making the service accessible to those in remote locations where the availability of computers and internet is negligible or absent.
He said that the opening of ticket counters at stations will be graded as a protocol needed to be developed to ensure that there is no crowding there.
Railways so far has converted around 5,000 coaches into COVID-care centres which will be deployed at 225 stations.
The trains to Kerala are:
• Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Mangala Express
• Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Duranto Express
• Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi Kerala Express
• Thiruvananthapuram-Mumbai Netravathi Express
• Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Janashatabdi
• Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Janashatabdi.