Mangaluru, March 15, 2020: With the outbreak of Coronavirus in the state, the number of train passengers has decreased. It is reported that even general coaches are found vacant. Mangaluru-Nagercoil Parasuram express, which generally witnesses a huge rush, is also running with vacant bogies.
Only regular passengers are seen in Mangaluru-Nagercoil Ernad express which operates morning service. Reservation coaches in trains to Thiruvananthapuram are also found vacant.
Even though there is a steep fall in number of train passengers, people complain that they appear in waiting list while booking online tickets. Hence, people who need train tickets on emergency are forced to pay double amount to get tatkal and premium tatkal tickets.
Passengers expressed regret over the railways for charging high ticket rate when there is no rush for tickets. It is learnt that berths in AC coaches are also vacant.
At the same time, the railway authority claimed that most of the passengers cancel their train tickets in the last minute. Hence, other passengers appear in the waiting list while booking tickets. Because of this vacant seats get noticed only after the departure of the train from one station, added the officials.
Many passengers skip ticket booking seeing the waitlist. Hence, they book tatkal and premium tatkal, a day before their journey.
The railway officials claimed that people who arrive at the ticket counters are informed on the chances of vacant seats amid Coronavirus outbreak.