CHENNAI: After being hit by the torrential rains and floods that disrupted their services completely, the Southern Railway is aiming to restore normal services from Monday. This would come as a welcome relief for passengers who have been stranded for about a week.
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Southern Railway announced that 10 express and mail trains would be cancelled on Monday owing to operational reasons.
Briefing the media here on Sunday, Southern Railway General Manager Vashishta Johri said that 561 express and mail trains and 350 suburban services were cancelled for the past five days from December 2 following the floods.
“However, we have operated 70 special trains, transporting about 44,000 people from Chennai,” he said. On refund of ticket fare for trains that were cancelled, he said that Rs 26 crore was refunded for reserved passengers, while Rs 20 lakh was returned to unreserved commuters.
“A total of 5,71,000 reserved passengers had to cancel their tickets, to whom Rs 26 crore was refunded. This was done without any hitch or hold up. In the unreserved sector, 6,500 passengers cancelled their tickets and refund amount to the tune of Rs 20 lakh has been returned,” he said.
Taking into consideration of passengers stranded in their homes due to water logging, Southern Railway has announced relaxation in Refund Rule. “To get refund, the TDR will be issued for period of 10 days reckoned from December 4 applicable to cancellations from December 1 onwards and application for refund will be honoured for a period of 30 days from the scheduled departure of the train,” he added.
Speaking about the facilities that were offered to stranded passengers at railway stations, the general manager said around 30,000 food and water packets were distributed to passengers at major stations free of cost in association with NGOs like Jain Association. In addition, food outlets are also selling food to the passengers, he added.
Regarding regular long distance train services, he said that normalcy would be restored on Monday. “Several regular train services have already started running from Central and Egmore railway stations from Sunday,” Johri noted.
Meanwhile, suburban train services between Chennai Beach and Tambaram were back to normal on Sunday with EMU services being operated on the slow line, said officials.