In view of nation-wide lockdown, all passenger train operations have been suspended since 22nd March, 2020.  The lockdown was extended in phases and currently lockdown 5.0 is in force till 30th June, 2020.   Indian Railways announced liberalized refund rules for the benefit of passengers booked through PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counters.  For e-tickets, automated refunds are being facilitated by IRCTC.  Presently, passengers who have booked tickets through PRS counters for journeys falling during  22th March, 2020 to 12th August, 2020 are eligible for refunds upto 6 months from the date of journey.

 Southern Railway arranged for staggered disbursal of refunds at PRS counters in major railway stations across the zone.  In the state of Kerala, PRS counters at major locations in Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram Divisions were opened for refunds from 22nd of May, 2020. PRS counters at various important locations including those at Thiruvananthapuram Central, Thrissur, Ernakulam ,Kollam, Kozhikkode, Mangalore Junction and  Palakkad Junction railway stations started functioning for disbursal of refunds.

In view of widespread pandemic, in pursuance of Railway Board’s instructions, PRS counters in Tamil Nadu were opened for refunds from 1st of June, 2020 in a staggered manner.  PRS counters at Dr MGR Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Tiruchchirappalli Jn, Tanjavur, Kumbakonam, Salem ,Karur, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli,Dindigul and many other important locations started functioning for disbursal of refunds. 

Southern Railway has arranged a refund of Rs.44.5 crores on ticket cancellations at PRS counters during the period from 22nd May, 2020 to 28th June, 2020.  A total of 8 lakh passengers have cancelled their tickets benefiting from the liberalized refund rules.

In Chennai Division, Rs.12.83 crores has been disbursed by way of refunds.   In Madurai Division, refund to the tune of Rs.4.39 crores is disbursed.  Rs.6.62 crores and Rs.4.20 crores were disbursed respectively in Salem and Tiruchchirappalli Divisions.  In Thiruvananthapuram Division, amount to the tune of 11.2 crores and in Palakkad Division, Rs.5.25 crores were disbursed  as refund.

In view of the intense Lockdown in Chennai area as announced by the State Government from 19th June to 30th June 2020, all the PRS  Locations falling under the Lockdown area in Chennai and certain parts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur District are being kept closed from 19th June to 30th June 2020.  Similarly, In view of the complete lockdown imposed from 23rd to 30th June 2020, PRS counters in Madurai lockdown areas are kept closed. 

Special care is being taken to ensure that all the laid down safety protocols such as provision of hand sanitizers and social distancing are followed at PRS counters.  To avoid overcrowding staggered disbursal of refunds at various locations is arranged duly following the COVID guidelines laid down by the State Governments and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.