The Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has decided to cancel the operations of both Lucknow-Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express due to low occupancy.
The Lucknow-New Delhi Tejas Express will remain cancelled from November 23 and Ahmedabad-Mumbai will remain cancelled from November 24.
“The management has decided to cancel all departures of IRCTC Tejas trains due to low occupancy levels resulting from coronavirus(Covid-19) pandemic,” a statement issued by the railway company said.
The company will review its decision after seeing the occupancy level of other trains of Indian Railways operating in both these routes, the statement added.
The Lucknow-Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express was started by the IRCTC on October 4, 2019, and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Ahmedabad on January 19 this year. However, the trains were not operating since March 19 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express resumed operations from October 17 and only 25 to 40 percent out of the total 736 seats were occupied as against 50-80 percent before the spread of coronavirus.
IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, is the first corporate entity to run the Tejas Express services, according to Mint. The entity had released guidelines for how these trains were to function– every alternate seat on the two trains will be kept vacant to ensure social distancing and passengers will be thermally screened before entering the coach and not allowed to exchange their seats once seated — the guidelines said.