Indian Railways News

Tatkal Ticket Booking, Cancellation Rules: Railways Issues Clarification

Indian Railways has issued a clarification saying there has been no changes in Tatkal and other ticket reservation rules from July 1, 2017. “It has been noticed that a news item is in circulation in various social media platforms, WhatsApp groups, and some websites which mentions that Indian Railways is introducing several changes and new facilities with effect from 1st July, 2017. This news is totally incorrect and baseless,” the Railways said in a statement. “This has created a lot of confusion in the minds of the rail users.”

In this context, the Railways has clarified the following on June 30, 2017:

1) The booking time for Tatkal tickets was changed in 2015 with booking for AC classes opening at 10:00 AM and for Non-AC classes at 11:00 AM (one day in advance of actual date of journey excluding date of journey). There is no change in these timings and the same arrangement is continuing.

2) Again, there is no change in the refund rules of Tatkal tickets. Under the existing rule, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/duplicate Tatkal tickets. This rule continues to be in operation.

3) There are as such no new changes being introduced from July 1, 2017. The only new thing is that Railways, like other departments, is rolling out GST (goods and services tax) with effect from July 1, 2017.

4) Railways has been selling wait-listed tickets both through online (e-ticket) and PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counters. There is no change in this scheme and railway will continue to sell wait-listed tickets through both online and PRS counter.

5) Railways has been running Suvidha Class of trains since July 2015. Such trains will continue to run. The wait-listed ticket in such trains is also available, if required. Provision of partial refund in case of Suvidha Train Tickets is available right from the beginning of the scheme. Hence, no new changes in this regard.

6) Railways have notified new refund rules in November 2015.There rules are still continuing and there is no change in them.

7) There is no proposal to discontinue paper tickets for Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains and, for that matter, in any class of train. However, for passengers booking tickets online (i.e. e-tickets), the tickets received by SMS are a valid authority for travel along with permissible proof of identity.

8) There is no such proposal to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing train ticket concessions.

9) There is no proposal to run duplicate trains. “We, in anyway, run special trains to clear the rush during peak season on identified popular routes as per the traffic requirements & operational feasibility,” the Railways further said.

10) Railways has launched ‘VIKALP’ or Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) on November 1, 2015 with a view to provide confirmed accommodation to wait-listed passengers and also to ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation. This facility was initially started on New Delhi-Jammu, New Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Secunderabad Circuits. This scheme was expanded to all the sectors from March 22, 2017.

Railways to install bar-coded flap gates at stations

The Railways will go the Metro way and install automatic flap gates with bar code scanners at stations to facilitate faster ticket checking and ease the pressure on ticket examiners and collectors.

To begin with, the access control system, already operational in Kolkata and Delhi Metro services, will be implemented at non-metropolitan stations where traffic rush is very less.

CRIS, the software arm of the Railways, is on the job to make the new flap gate system operational at Brar Square station in Delhi Division as a pilot project.

The access control system at Brar Square will be functional in the next three months, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.

If successful, the system will enable the Railways to deal with the shortage of train ticket examiners and ticket collectors.

According to the system design, an encrypted QR code will be printed on unreserved tickets for the designated station where passengers need to enter or exit through these gates after validating their tickets.

The automatic flap gate system can handle faster entry or exit of passengers during the rush hour.

Besides installing automatic gates, there will be counters at the Brar Square station to provide QR-coded tickets to passengers for entry or exit.

Though the system is successfully tackling the Metro rush in Delhi and Kolkata, it has never been tried in the railway system.

While Metro stations are situated either at elevated or underground levels, railway stations are on the surface without boundary walls.

“We chose Brar station for conducting the trial because the passenger rush is limited here,” said the official.

As a first step, the entire station will be fenced so that no passenger escapes without ticket.

It costs about Rs 4 lakh to install the automatic gate with bar code facility.

Besides, there will be thermal printers at ticket counters for bar coded tickets.

Railways to offer options on senior citizen fare concession

Now senior citizens will have the option to avail either the full concession provided to them on rail tickets or half of it.

The Railways is exploring ways to reduce the Rs 1,300 crore subsidy burden in the senior citizen category.

The new system will be operationalised shortly after upgrading the ticketing software.

The Railways bears 43 percent of the cost of train fare even as the state-run transporter incurs a loss of about Rs 30,000 crore a year in subsidising passenger fares out of which Rs 1,600 crore is for concessional fares.

Though there are many categories of passengers including sportspersons and differently-abled persons who avail concessions, the major beneficiaries are in the senior citizen segment.

The total amount of concessions given in the senior citizen category is about Rs 1,300 crore a year, said a senior Railway Ministry official.

At present, male senior citizens get 40 percent while women get 50 percent concession on the total fare.

Earlier, the Railways had given all senior citizens the option of either availing the full concession or foregoing it altogether while booking tickets.

Now a senior citizen will be asked whether he or she wants to avail 50 percent or 100 percent concession while booking tickets, the official said.

Recently, a passenger travelling from Jammu to New Delhi saw the message written on his ticket about the 43 percent subsidy borne by the Railways.

He then decided to forego the subsidy and sent a cheque of Rs 950 to the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for a similar train journey undertaken by him and his wife on the Jammu Rajdhani.

He sent the cheque along with a letter addressing the railway minister stating that “he will never avail such financial benefits in future”.

However, the national transporter had to return the cheque as there was no provision to accept such an offer.

Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena also clarified that there is no move to appeal to general passengers to forego subsidy in passenger fares on the lines of the ‘Give It Up’ campaign targeted at LPG consumers.

The Railways recovers only 57 percent of the expenses incurred for passenger transportation through sale of tickets of all classes.

After LPG give-it-up, now government wants you to give up train fare subsidy

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a call to the well-heeled LPG consumers to give up their cooking gas subsidies, the Railways department seems to be mooting a similar idea for its passengers too.

As per a report in the Times of India, the government wants to give rail passengers a similar option to “voluntarily forego the subsidy on tickets.”

The plan will be rolled out next month, TOI said.

Quoting a source, the TOI said, railways “will offer two slabs of subsidy surrender — 50 percent and 100 percent of the subsidy amount”.

Since last year, Railways had started printing the subsidy “burden” it is bearing in the train tickets to make passengers aware of the “real cost” involved in the travel.

Indian Railways recovers “only 57 percent” of the cost of travel on an average that can now be reflected on passenger tickets purchased from counters or online, Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed had said.

While passengers travelling by suburban and short-haul trains account for 52 percent of the traffic, their share in total passenger revenues was just around 6-7 percent. This segment accounted for around 60 percent of the annual subsidy of Rs 34,000 crore, Jamshed had said.

Recently, a person travelling from Jammu to New Delhi saw the message written on his ticket about the 43 percent subsidy borne by the Railways during his train journey.

He then decided to forego the subsidy and sent a cheque of Rs 950 to IRCTC for a similar train journey undertaken by him and his wife on the Jammu Rajdhani.

He sent the cheque along with a letter addressing the railway minister stating that “he will never avail such financial benefits in future”.

Arvind Kejriwal Seeks Land From Railway, DDA To Build Toilets

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today asked the Centre to provide land belonging to the Railways and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for constructing toilets to help make the national capital open defecation free (ODF) by March next year.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Union Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu in Nirman Bhawan in New Delhi, he said that he has also requested the Centre to shift the families living in government quarters in Sarojini Nagar after the ongoing academic session gets over.

The state-run National Building Construction Company (NBCC), which functions under the Urban Development ministry, is redeveloping colonies in Sarojini Nagar.

Mr Naidu said that the ministry will consider the request related to Sarojini Nagar and would ask the DDA and the Railways to extend support to the Delhi government for constructing toilets, Mr Kejriwal said.

“There are 3,500 families which are being shifted from Sarojini Nagar. I requested that they may be shifted after the academic session gets over,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.

Stressing that the Delhi government targets to make the national capital ODF by March 2018, Mr Kejriwal said he has also requested the minister to provide land to the DDA and the Railways to build toilets.

 The Delhi government has constructed about 10,500 toilets in the last two years, he added.

Notorious Criminals nabbed by Railway Crime Prevention & Detection Squad (CPDS) at Secunderabad

Keeping in view the present security scenario and the trend of passenger related offences, Railway Protection Force (RPF), South Central Railway, Secunderabad Division adopted various measures including escorting of maximum number of passenger trains, introducing Crime Prevention & Detection Squad (CPDS) teams and provision of CCTV surveillance system at major Railway stations.

Accordingly, the alert CPDS team at Secunderabad & Hyderabad stations kept an eagle eye on suspected persons which resulted in the arrest of many notorious and habitual offenders responsible for theft of passenger belongings/chain snatching etc. with recovery of stolen property worth lakhs of rupees.

The CPDS Team at Secunderabad detained one notorious criminal by name Uppari Eranna, S/o Sailu, Age 26 yrs, R/o H. No. 5-2, Tadugoor, Madnoor, Nizamabad – Dist., which resulted in the detection of 4 cases registered by Government Railway Police (GRP) / Secunderabad for chain snatching from passengers.

  1. The case pertaining to GRP/Secunderabad 05.05.2017 for snatching of Gold Mangalasuthram weight about 2.7 tulas from a lady passenger travelling in Train No. 17405 Krishna Express at Secunderabad Station. This case has been detected with the arrest of the above criminal with recovery of entire property worth Rs.27000/-.
  2. The case pertaining to GRP/Secunderabad 24.05.2017 for snatching of Gold Mangalasuthram wg about 03 tulas from a lady passenger travelling in Nizamabad-Kacheguda Demo at Secunderabad Station. This case has been detected with the arrest of the above criminal with recovery of entire property worth Rs.30,000/-.
  3. The case pertaining to GRP/Secunderabad 26.05.2017 for snatching of Gold chain wg about 04 tulas from a lady passenger travelling in Train No. 17214 Nagarsole-Narsapur express at Secunderabad Station. This case has been detected with the arrest of the above criminal with recovery of entire property worth Rs.40,000/-.
  4. On 21.03.2017 a case has been registered at GRP/Visakhapatnam for snatching of Gold chain weight about 30 grms in Train No. 12750 Machilipatnam Express at Secunderabad and subsequently transferred to GRP/Secunderabad on the point of jurisdiction. This case has been detected with the arrest of the above criminal with recovery of entire property worth Rs.48,000/-.

The arrest of the notorious criminal resulted in recovery of stolen property worth Rs.3,80,000/-.

Similarly, RPF/CPDS team of Hyderabad post detected a habitual criminal responsible for theft of mobile phones at Hyderabad Railway Station with the use of CCTV surveillance system.

Going in to the details, on 03.07.17 at about 12.00 hrs Sri.M.Govindarajulu, Constable while performing duty as CCTV operator at Hyderabad station, noticed one offender committing theft of mobile phone from a passenger at Booking office. Immediately, he alerted the on duty Women Constable  Kumari. L G Laxmi, RPSF who responded quickly and caught the offender red handedly with the help of CPDS staff and recovered the phone . The passenger was not aware about theft of his mobile phone till he was informed by RPF. The offender revealed his name and address as Ayub Ali Khan, S/o Khadar Ali Khan, Age 20 yrs, R/o Yousf baba Dargha, Nampally, Hyderabad. Video of CCTV footage is enclosed.

L&T gets 17 month extension to complete Hyderabad Metro Rail project

The Telangana government on Tuesday extended till November 2018 the time for construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to complete Hyderabad Metro Rail project.

The original construction period for the 71.16 km elevated metro ended on Tuesday but the project could not be completed due to court cases in acquisition of some critical properties.

After detailed technical presentations by the concessionaire L&TMRHL (L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited), independent engineer Louis Berger, and HMRL (Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited) and several rounds of discussions, the government agreed to give an extension of 17 months.

According to HMRL Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy, the concessionaire has been permitted to complete the entire project other than the 5 km stretch in the Old City and about 1 km stretch between Hitec city and Raidurg by November 2018.

While agreeing for this time extension, the interests of the government have been protected, he said.

The state government advised L&TMRHL and HMRL to gear up for launching the completed stretches of the project in the next few months and also to complete corridor-I (Miyapur-LB Nagar: 29 km) and corridor-III (Nagole-Hitec City: 27 km) by the end of 2007.

As per the concession agreement signed with the then government of united Andhra Pradesh in 2010, the project should have been completed by July 4, 2017.

Though the concession agreement for Rs 14,132 crore project, said to be the largest metro project in the world in public-private partnership, was signed in September 2010, the work could commence only in July 2012, L&TMRHL officials had earlier said.

L&TMRHL in 2011 had achieved financial closure for Rs 16,375 crore – Rs 14,132 crore for the metro rail system and Rs.2,243 crore for the first phase of real estate development.

Both the components of the project are being financed through an equity of 30 percent and 70 percent by debt.

L&TMRHL officials had said last year that the project cost may have been escalated by Rs 2,500-3,000 crore.

National Academy of Railway Security to come up in Vijayawada

A national academy for training in railway security will soon be set up by the government keeping in mind the threat to the public transporter.

Besides the railways will also speed up the creation of an advanced commando training facility for Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel.

“Both these institutions will come up in Andhra Pradesh and we have identified land for the purpose,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.

The National Academy of Railway Security, a first of its kind in the country, will come up on 33 cares of land in Vijaywada in Andhra, as a centre of excellence in providing training in rail-related security for railway security personnel of India (GRP/RPF) as well as abroad.

Railways have also earmarked 244 acres of land for setting up a Commando Training Centre for RPF in Andhra for which work has already been started.

In view of increased threat perception in the recent past, there is a need for in-house facility for commando training of RPF/RPSF personnel, he said.

In fact, the proposal for setting up such commando training institute has been already approved by Parliament in 2015.

Setting up of one Commando Training Centre has also been approved for RPF under works programme of railways.

The matter is under process and eforts are being made for early setting up of Commando Training centre, he said.

Railways have undertaken several measures to strengthen safety and security at rail premises.

Currently, about 1300 trains on an average are escorted by Railway Protection Force in addition to 2,200 trains escorted by Government Railway Police of different states daily.

A security helpline number 182 has been operational at all zonal railways to enable all rail passengers including women in distress to seek security-related assistance round-the-clock.

RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police at all levels to ensure proper registration and investigation of crime by GRP.

SAIL despatches record load of 260-metre Rails to Indian Railways

Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), the flagship entity of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in Chhattisgarh, has recorded its best ever loading of rails for despatch to the Indian Railways (IR) in the month of June 2017.

According to BSP officials, the plant has loaded 27 rakes of 260-metre-long rails from its rail and structural mill (RSM) and universal rail mill (URM) in June. The entire load in hand was meant to be sent to IR, to which BSP is the sole supplier as far as rails are concerned.

Officials added touted this to be the highest loading recorded in a single month since the plant’s inception. From the URM alone, a 14-rake consignment was dispatched to the IR.

Following the commissioning of the new URM, the plant has been rolling out the world’s longest 130-metre rails in a single piece.

Overall, loading has been good since the first quarter of FY17 with the BSP welding 65-metre-long rails from its RSM unit into 260-metre-long rail panels. The welding is done at the mill’s long rail complex and the final panels are loaded for dispatch to the IR.

During the April-June period this year, the plant loaded 65 rakes of 260- metre-long rails. This was until June, the highest dispatch recorded by BSP in any quarter.

In fact, the number of rakes loaded for dispatch has been increasing every month since the beginning of the current financial year. In April, a load of 17 rakes were sent off, while in May this increased to 21.

One Rupee Emergency Clinics To Come Up At 5 Metro Stations In Mumbai

After opening 24-hour Emergency Medical Rooms (EMRs) and One Rupee clinics at six stations of the Central Railway (CR), medical firm Magicdil Health has got consent to open similar facilities at five metro stations. These five metro stations fall on the Ghatkopar- Vesrova stretch of the rapid transport system, the city-based company said.

“We wanted to set up EMRs and One Rupee clinics at metro stations to provide first hand medical help to commuters at a token charge of Re 1. We expressed our willingness to metro officials and they readily accepted our offer,” said Dr Rahul Ghule, an executive of Magicdil. Metro has given us permission to set up these facilities at five stations – Ghatkopar, Sakinaka, Marol Naka, Andheri and D N Nagar. Our clinics at these stations would start by the beginning of the next month,” Dr Ghule said.

Confirming the move, an official from Mumbai Metro One said, “Magicdil had approach us to open its clinics to serve passengers in case of emergency. After going through their proposal, we accepted their offer and the process to provide them premises at these five stations has started.”

“We will provide 150 sq/ft area at each station,” he said.

The concept of treating commoners at a token fee of Re 1 hit the headlines in May when Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the One Rupee clinic facility at five stations on the CR – Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Wadala and Mulund. Very recently, the same facility started at Vashi station.

So far, Dr Ghule said, his firm has provided medical assistance to 12,555 patients at all the five CR stations. The decision to set up EMRs came after a Bombay High Court order.

The HC directed setting up of EMRs at all the suburban stations on the CR and the Western Railway in a phased manner while hearing a PIL in March.

The PIL, filed by rail activist Samir Zaveri, had highlighted the issue of lack of prompt medical help in case of accidents on railway tracks.