Withdrawal of Senior Citizen concessions in Railways to dissuade travel due to COVID-19
Imperative to curtail spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable group of population i.e people with chronic illness and senior citizens
In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus and to minimise the travel related risks to elderly citizens, Indian Railways has taken steps to discourage senior citizens from undertaking non essential journeys by removing special incentives which presently exist for their travel .Indian Railways has done this by withdrawing concessional booking of tickets to senior citizens for Unreserved & Reserved segment form 00:00 hrs of 20th March till further advisory. This step has been taken to discourage them from making non essential journeys.
It has been seen that the risk of spread and mortality rate due to COVID-19 virus is highest among senior citizens as susceptibility increases with age. As the report of the WHO Joint Mission on Corona virus Disease indicates, “Individuals at highest risk for severe disease and death include people aged over 60 years”. It further says, “Mortality increases with age, with the highest mortality among people over 80 years of age (CFR 21.9%).”
Amidst the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 virus and increasing number of cases in India, it has become imperative to curtail its spread and protect the most vulnerable group of population i.e people with chronic illness and especially senior citizens. Withdrawal of such concessions is also a part of a wider plan to discourage unnecessary travel by all concerned and hence concessional booking of all tickets have been withdrawn except Patients, students and Divyangjan category for both Unreserved & Reserved segments .
It is notable that a large number of requests are already being received by Indian Railways for cancellation of tickets booked by Senior Citizens and provide waiver of cancellation fee.
In view of the above, following action is being taken by Railways:
- No concession on reserved and unreserved Railway tickets for senior citizens w.e.f. 00:00 Hrs 20th March 2020
- For railway tickets already purchased before 20th March 2020
- In case of cancellation, no cancellation charges will be levied
- In case of travel, difference in fare (Full fare minus Concessional fare) shall be collected online or in the train from the senior citizens
Railways is taking all precautionary steps for the passengers. Active cooperation of all is required to combat the spread of COVID-19 virus.