Indian Railways News

China Uses Chequebook Diplomacy To Sideline India In Nepal

Three years after its last train hit the buffers, landlocked Nepal is building a new railway network to boost its ailing economy — helped by the rivalry between powerful neighbours China and India.

The railway to India was a lifeline for the small southern frontier town of Janakpur, used to import everything from sweets to clothes and cosmetics and fuelling a vibrant border economy. But it fell into disrepair after years of neglect and since 2014, the train has sat stationary, its rusting carcass now a playground for local children, while Janakpur’s markets are empty.
“When the train was running, we would have a lot of business. I was easily providing (for) my family,” said Shyam Sah, whose small family-run cosmetics shop has suffered an 80 per cent drop in profits since the railway closed

Now it is being rebuilt with Indian backing, one of three new rail lines — one funded by China in the north and a third by Nepal itself — that the country hopes will help boost international trade.

Nepal remains largely isolated from the global economy, dependent on aid and remittances. Growth slowed dramatically after a 2015 earthquake but is expected to normalise at 5 per cent from 2018 — one of the slowest rates in South Asia — according to the World Bank.

In recent years it has courted its two large neighbours for investment in an attempt to plug itself into a rail network that links the far eastern reaches of Asia with Europe.

 But geography is not on its side.

The Himalayas form a natural border between Nepal and China, leaving it largely dependent on India — with which it shares a 1,400 kilometre open border — for the majority of its imports and exports. In recent years, Kathmandu has tilted towards Beijing as part of a nationalist drive to decrease the country’s reliance on Delhi.

China has responded, ramping up its diplomatic ties with Nepal — mostly through large-scale infrastructure investments. In 2017, Beijing pledged $8.3 billion to build roads and hydropower plants in Nepal, dwarfing India’s commitments of USD 317 million. Feasibility studies are also underway for a Beijing- backed railway connecting Kathmandu to Lhasa in Tibet, cutting straight through the Himalayas at an estimated cost of $8 billion.

Ankit Panda, senior editor at The Diplomat magazine, said that could be a game-changer for the small country. “The rail line with China holds potential depending on the demand side of the equation, on how China allows Nepal to leverage that link for commercial growth opportunities,” he said.

But it has strained relations between India and China, who are currently locked in a tense standoff on the remote Himalayan plateau of Doklam in Bhutan sparked by a new road being built by China.

“China knows that its chequebook diplomacy with the smaller Asian states is a sore point with India, which simply cannot afford to put up the kind of capital outlays that the Chinese promise,” said Panda.

The project is part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a massive global infrastructure programme to connect Chinese companies to new markets around the world that critics see as a geopolitical powerplay. India has snubbed the plan and skipped a summit in Beijing in May.

Delhi is funding the reconstruction of the Janakpur line, rebuilding the tracks to carry broad-gauge trains that will allow it to connect to the rest of the subcontinent’s expansive rail network.

Some experts warn that Nepal has become a de-facto battleground in a geopolitical struggle for regional supremacy between India and China — a position that Kathmandu must navigate carefully. “None of them (smaller Asian nations) want to become a de facto satellite state,” said Michael Auslin, Asia expert and fellow with the Hoover Institution. “But by having both India and China essentially compete over it, from one perspective it makes it a battleground, from another perspective it means that Nepal is playing the two off against each other,” he added.
Meanwhile, the people of Janakpur are eagerly awaiting the rail revival that will connect them to India once again. “When the train stopped, everything finished. Business has gone down for all of the city,” said bookshop owner Rajendra Kusuwah. “After the new rail comes, it will open doors for development.”

 

Car Breaks Through Barrier. Then, Near Miss With Train

In a warning to drivers to stay vigilant around railway crossings, the state railway company of Poland has released terrifying footage of a car’s near brush with tragedy.

In surveillance video recorded last week in Koszalin, North Poland, a car crashed through a closed railway barrier and drove across the tracks, apparently oblivious to the fact that a speeding train was heading their way. The car manages to cross the tracks but the train hits its tail light leaving the rear side badly damaged due to the impact, as seen in footage taken from another angle.

The driver was accompanied by three passengers who luckily escaped unharmed. The seemingly distraught passengers could be seen rushing out of the car after the incident.

 

According to local reports, the driver was fined around $140 for dangerous driving.

Darjeeling Toy Train Loses Rs. 2.5 Crore Due To Agitation

Kolkata:  The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has incurred an estimated loss of Rs. 2.5 crore due to the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation in West Bengal, an official said on Monday.

“If the situation would have been normal, that is the amount we would have earned in this time by running our trains. Services have been suspended since June 12,” Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma told IANS.

Till June 12 this year, the DHR registered earnings of Rs. 3.05 crore.

The heritage train operates under NFR. The UNESCO granted world heritage status to the DHR on December 2, 1999.

Following the agitation, the Sonada and Gayabari stations of DHR were damaged besides the DHR headquarter Elysia building at Kurseong. The Gayabari station was gutted in a fire.

“We used to run nine trains daily from Darjeeling to Ghoom. There used to be a train from Siliguri to Darjeeling and one from Darjeeling to Siliguri. All the trains have stopped. We have to sit back till the situation normalises,” Mr Sharma said.

All advance bookings from July 12 for DHR toy trains were cancelled and money refunded. The annual expenditure of the DHR is estimated at Rs. 15 crore.

The hill passenger railway started operations in 1881.

Local parties have been protesting in the West Bengal hills demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

 

 

Railways to block doubtful IP Addresses from foreign locations to curb eTouts

NEW DELHI: As online train ticket booking increases, the Railways is facing a new challenge – eTouts.

eTouts use virtual tools to buy tickets before genuine passengers do. Touts book mass tickets – not for private use – but for business, shrinking the number of tickets genuine passengers have access to. Later they sell these tickets at a premium, making an illegal profit.

This has led the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to explore smarter ways to nab such tech savvy eTouts. The options explored include blocking shady IP addresses from foreign locales for a few minutes at peak traffic on its website and design software that can enable it to identify and block e-touting attempts real-time on a continuous basis.

Besides, the Railway Police has called for an update in the law to formally include e-touting in its policy lexicon.

“Every morning, as the ticket booking starts, the first 30 minutes are meant for private use only. This means both at railway counters where tickets are booked physically and through online windows, passengers can book a maximum of 10 tickets per month for private use,” said RP Pawar, RPF Zonal Training Centre, Central Railway.

Almost 60 per cent of reserved train tickets are sold online.

IP addresses

Railway agents share their IP addresses with IRCTC, which allows IRCTC to block ticket booking from those IP addresses. “But, agents often use private IP addresses, other than those shared with IRCTC for their clients,” Pawar told. “Our biggest worry in the reserved passenger bookings are people who are able to block others at the peak time. Some are able to create multiple identities, and have developed some software through which they are able to block others from accessing Passenger Reservation software. We are trying hard to get their footprints…But it’s a continuous process, as they keep changing the software. We need a solution from the cyber security experts,” said IRCTC’s CMD AK Manocha, who recently demitted office.

Manocha feels one option could be to block booking from foreign locations for five or 10 minutes during peak time when the booking per minute grows exponentially from 1,500-2,000 to 14,000-18,000.

Railways police officials have arrested eTouts in the past, but admit practical difficulties. They have sought updation in the Railway Act, which at present does not define eTouting separately.

“Earlier, as soon as the agents bought tickets during the time period when they were not supposed to, we could prove it as they had the booking slips. But now, we are not able to prove. So, we seize their computer, laptops, mobiles, whatever information is there. Subsequently we try to convince the court,” explained Pawar.

In his previous posting at Hubli, Pawar had seized computers, laptops, mobiles of eTouts to prove ‘unlawful possession’ in the Court. But unless, the Railway Act clearly spells out the course of action allowed to nab eTouts, Railway policemen feel they could be charged with misuse of law by courts.

During April-June 2017, 307 touts, 59,115 unauthorised vendors and 7 illegal ticketing agencies were prosecuted, according to Railways data shared in Parliament.

Pawar felt that a solution could be in linking Aadhaar, telephone number, bank accounts, all of which can be traced. Manocha echoed that the solution could lie in linking ticket booking to Aadhaar, or passport, or verifiable identities.

Indian Railways observe “Rail Swachhta Pakhwada” from 16th August to 31st August 2017

Ministry of Railways is observing ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ across its entire network from August 16TH to 31ST August 2017. This period was allotted to Ministry of Railways by the Nodal Ministry for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ namely ‘Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’.

Detailed guidelines for the ‘Pakhwada’ have been formulated and circulated to each unit of Indian Railways and the entire network is gearing up to observe the ‘Pakhwada’ in the most effective manner. Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has instructed the Railway Administration to make this Pakhwada a grand success and to give special focus on cleanliness at Railway Stations and in Trains throughout the ‘Pakhwada’. He has also directed that Officers and Staff of all departments should be made aware of this campaign and should be substantially involved in various activities during ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’. NGOs and other Organisations involved in similar activities may also be associated during this period.

The ‘Pakhwada’ has been named as “Rail Swachhta Pakhwada”. Each date of the ‘Pakhwada’ has been associated with a particular theme pertaining to cleanliness. The detailed theme-wise schedule is given below.

  • 16/08/2017: Swachh Awareness: The day should be started by administering Swachhta pledge to Railway staff and safai karamacharis. On this day Parbhat Pheris should be taken out in the morning with the slogan “Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat” with a view to raise awareness of all railway employees and their families to ensure cleanliness in the vicinity of their habitat.  Nukkad Nataks can be organized with the help of NGOs, Religious bodies and School children for creating awareness about cleanliness. Workshops and training programmes should be conducted for EnHM officers and staff.  The officers and staff of other departments involved in passenger services should also be part of the training programmes. They should also be briefed on objectives and content of Swachhta Pakhwada.
  • 17/08/2017: Swachh Samwad (Cleanliness dialogue/Public):  All DRMs should organize seminars on Sanitation and upkeep of railway stations by involving NGOs, Charitable institutions, Scouts & Guides, Unions and all employees to undertake cleanliness drive on their nearest railway stations.  Passengers and other Stakeholders should also be involved. Painting & Poster competitions on the theme of cleanliness should be organized in schools.
  • 18/08/2017: Swachh Samwad (Cleanliness dialogue/In-house):  Seminars and Workshops should be organized on Sanitation and upkeep of Railway Colonies and other Institutions on Railway premises.  Cleanliness awareness campaign to be organized by displaying Anti-littering notices in all the institutions on the Railway premises like Railway Colonies, Rest Houses and Dormitories, Running Rooms, Hospitals and Health Units, Colleges and Schools. For this use of CCTVs, awareness posters and slogans, Nukkar shows etc. may be undertaken. Awareness should be made through Public Announcements System and through posters encouraging more and more use of paperless travel in all classes of travel. Feedback may be taken from travelling public regarding cleanliness awareness including messages on 139.
  • 19/08/2017: Swachh Stations (Clean Stations):   Intensive Cleanliness drive at all A1 and A category stations should be undertaken. Availability and working of cleaning machines, tools & plants, protective gears for cleaning staff must be ensured. Adequate provision of dustbins at stations is to be ensured.  At A1 & A category stations, separate dustbins shall be provided for segregated collection of waste in terms of extant Board’s instructions. A campaign for ‘fill the dustbin’, ‘donate the dustbin’ may be taken up to generate the awareness among the rail users.
  • This day should be dedicated to intensive cleaning of all stations other than A1 and A category.  Segregation of waste should be encouraged by setting up of separate dustbins. Plastic bottle crushers should be installed with CSR funding so that plastic thrown does not choke drains or water outlets. All efforts should be made to ensure at least one platform at important stations to be “zero waste”, i.e. litter-free.  During the “Swachhta Pakhwada”, it should be ensured that equipment using Solar Power should be functional, wherever installed. Efforts should be made to discourage use of plastic and during the period at least one station in the Zonal Railway should be plastic free.  The activities should be monitored through CCTVs and details of activities should be logged and sent to the Railway Board at the end of the “Swachhta Pakhwada” as part of the comprehensive report.
  • 21/08/2017: Swachh Railgaadi (Clean Train): Intensive inspection/cleaning of listed trains should be undertaken by teams of officers and staff to ensure cleanliness onboard.
  • 22/08/2017: Swachh Railgaadi (Clean Train): Intensive inspection/cleaning of all other trains not covered in drive dated 21/08/17 should be undertaken on this day. All trains have to be inspected in the washing lines, in railway yards and also at stations.  Train inspections to include checks on toilets and quality of linen. Suggestions/feedback should also be obtained from passengers and immediate action initiated.
  • 23/08/2017: Swachh Parisar (Clean Work Place)Intensive drive should be undertaken to clean up and improve offices including Hospitals, Schools, Coaching Depots and Lobbys.  Required amenities in the circulating areas of station complexes be ensured and unauthorized encroachments removed.  Cleaning of all drains to be undertaken.
  • 24/08/2017: Swachh Parisar: (Clean Residential Premises) Residential Premises including Railway Colony,  Retiring/Waiting Rooms, Rest Houses and Dormitories, Running Rooms etc., should be taken up for intensive cleaning on this day.  Plasters wherever falling should be repaired along with other repairs on walls/roofs/floors and electric fittings should be carried out. Intensive drive should be undertaken to clean up garbage. Areas which are normally ignored should be covered. Participation under CSR be called for setting up of waste to energy plants in railway colonies. Railway hospitals/Health Units should be cleaned intensively on this day. Efforts for segregation of waste be given a push. Children should be encouraged to keep the premises clean. Beautification of premises by pruning of trees, plantation and landscaping can be undertaken.
  • 25/08/2017: Swachh AharOn this day intensive cleaning of all canteens should be taken up.

 

  • 26/08/2017: Swachh Ahar: In continuation to station vending units, on this day intensive cleaning of all pantry cars in trains should be taken up. All Catering Units should be directed to clean their premises and ensure that clean and hygienic food is served.  Samples of food can be taken for checking and feedback of passengers obtained on the quality of food served.
  • 27/08/2017: Swachh Neer (Clean Water): Intensive inspection of all water installations including filter plants, sources of water supply, water taps for drinking water at stations as well as trains shall be undertaken.
  • 28/08/2017: Swachh Neer (Clean Water): Intensive inspection of all water installations in offices, Railway Colonies/Hospitals/Health Units/Schools should be taken up on this day.
  • It must be ensured that quality potable water is available and there is no shortage of water supply at any of passenger service locations like waiting rooms, retiring rooms, platforms, trains, etc. Inspection of water vending machines, water coolers should be undertaken for cleaning and sample checks should be conducted on quality of water. Efforts for setting up rain harvesting plants and recycling plants should be strengthened. It should be ensured that there is no problem of water stagnation anywhere in Railway premises.
  • 29/08/2017: Swachh Prasadhan: The day should be dedicated to intensive cleaning of all toilet blocks at railway stations, coaching depots, trains and surrounding areas. Water availability, leaking pipes, drainage systems should be paid attention to and broken items replaced wherever required.  People should be encouraged to desist from open defecation in areas approaching railway stations or on tracks.
  • 30/08/2017: Swachh Competition: A sense of healthy competition for cleaning should be inculcated and commendation be given to those units which are found perennially/regularly cleaned. Supervisors/staff working on cleaning activities should be suitably recognized.
  • 31/08/2017: Review/Briefing: On this day, the work carried out during the Pakhwada should be reviewed and a detailed report with photos and videos should be uploaded on the website of each Railway.  Due coverage of the drive should be ensured in social/print/electronic media.

As part of the Clean Energy drive, equipments fitted with Solar Energy will be made fully functional during this period. Proposals for solar energy fitments will be expedited.

Special emphasis will be given to A1 and A category Stations for cleanliness in passenger and non-passenger areas including the approach to the stations.

Suitable Senior Officers will be nominated to monitor the campaign at different levels. It is also proposed to do monitoring of cleanliness through CCTV wherever installed.

Some 200 Trains have also been identified for special attention regarding cleanliness during this fortnight. The list of trains is given below.

Premium Trains:

1.All Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duranto Trains.

2.All Jan Shatabdi and Samapark Kranti Trains.

3.All New Products like Gatiman, Tejas, Hamsafar and Antyodaya.

 

China Uses Chequebook Diplomacy To Sideline India In Nepal

Three years after its last train hit the buffers, landlocked Nepal is building a new railway network to boost its ailing economy — helped by the rivalry between powerful neighbours China and India.

The railway to India was a lifeline for the small southern frontier town of Janakpur, used to import everything from sweets to clothes and cosmetics and fuelling a vibrant border economy. But it fell into disrepair after years of neglect and since 2014, the train has sat stationary, its rusting carcass now a playground for local children, while Janakpur’s markets are empty.

“When the train was running, we would have a lot of business. I was easily providing (for) my family,” said Shyam Sah, whose small family-run cosmetics shop has suffered an 80 per cent drop in profits since the railway closed.

Now it is being rebuilt with Indian backing, one of three new rail lines — one funded by China in the north and a third by Nepal itself — that the country hopes will help boost international trade.

Nepal remains largely isolated from the global economy, dependent on aid and remittances. Growth slowed dramatically after a 2015 earthquake but is expected to normalise at 5 per cent from 2018 — one of the slowest rates in South Asia — according to the World Bank.

In recent years it has courted its two large neighbours for investment in an attempt to plug itself into a rail network that links the far eastern reaches of Asia with Europe.

But geography is not on its side.

The Himalayas form a natural border between Nepal and China, leaving it largely dependent on India — with which it shares a 1,400 kilometre open border — for the majority of its imports and exports. In recent years, Kathmandu has tilted towards Beijing as part of a nationalist drive to decrease the country’s reliance on Delhi.

China has responded, ramping up its diplomatic ties with Nepal — mostly through large-scale infrastructure investments. In 2017, Beijing pledged $8.3 billion to build roads and hydropower plants in Nepal, dwarfing India’s commitments of USD 317 million. Feasibility studies are also underway for a Beijing- backed railway connecting Kathmandu to Lhasa in Tibet, cutting straight through the Himalayas at an estimated cost of $8 billion.

Ankit Panda, senior editor at The Diplomat magazine, said that could be a game-changer for the small country. “The rail line with China holds potential depending on the demand side of the equation, on how China allows Nepal to leverage that link for commercial growth opportunities,” he said.

But it has strained relations between India and China, who are currently locked in a tense standoff on the remote Himalayan plateau of Doklam in Bhutan sparked by a new road being built by China.

“China knows that its chequebook diplomacy with the smaller Asian states is a sore point with India, which simply cannot afford to put up the kind of capital outlays that the Chinese promise,” said Panda.

The project is part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a massive global infrastructure programme to connect Chinese companies to new markets around the world that critics see as a geopolitical powerplay. India has snubbed the plan and skipped a summit in Beijing in May.

Delhi is funding the reconstruction of the Janakpur line, rebuilding the tracks to carry broad-gauge trains that will allow it to connect to the rest of the subcontinent’s expansive rail network.

Some experts warn that Nepal has become a de-facto battleground in a geopolitical struggle for regional supremacy between India and China — a position that Kathmandu must navigate carefully. “None of them (smaller Asian nations) want to become a de facto satellite state,” said Michael Auslin, Asia expert and fellow with the Hoover Institution. “But by having both India and China essentially compete over it, from one perspective it makes it a battleground, from another perspective it means that Nepal is playing the two off against each other,” he added.

Meanwhile, the people of Janakpur are eagerly awaiting the rail revival that will connect them to India once again. “When the train stopped, everything finished. Business has gone down for all of the city,” said bookshop owner Rajendra Kusuwah. “After the new rail comes, it will open doors for development.”

Car Breaks Through Barrier. Then, Near Miss With Train

In a warning to drivers to stay vigilant around railway crossings, the state railway company of Poland has released terrifying footage of a car’s near brush with tragedy.

In surveillance video recorded last week in Koszalin, North Poland, a car crashed through a closed railway barrier and drove across the tracks, apparently oblivious to the fact that a speeding train was heading their way. The car manages to cross the tracks but the train hits its tail light leaving the rear side badly damaged due to the impact, as seen in footage taken from another angle.

The driver was accompanied by three passengers who luckily escaped unharmed. The seemingly distraught passengers could be seen rushing out of the car after the incident.

Darjeeling Toy Train Loses Rs. 2.5 Crore Due To Agitation

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has incurred an estimated loss of Rs. 2.5 crore due to the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation in West Bengal, an official said on Monday.

“If the situation would have been normal, that is the amount we would have earned in this time by running our trains. Services have been suspended since June 12,” Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma told IANS.

Till June 12 this year, the DHR registered earnings of Rs. 3.05 crore.

The heritage train operates under NFR. The UNESCO granted world heritage status to the DHR on December 2, 1999.

Following the agitation, the Sonada and Gayabari stations of DHR were damaged besides the DHR headquarter Elysia building at Kurseong. The Gayabari station was gutted in a fire.

“We used to run nine trains daily from Darjeeling to Ghoom. There used to be a train from Siliguri to Darjeeling and one from Darjeeling to Siliguri. All the trains have stopped. We have to sit back till the situation normalises,” Mr Sharma said.

All advance bookings from July 12 for DHR toy trains were cancelled and money refunded. The annual expenditure of the DHR is estimated at Rs. 15 crore.

The hill passenger railway started operations in 1881.

Local parties have been protesting in the West Bengal hills demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Railway Tatkal Booking: Reservation, Cancellation Rules, And New IRCTC Facility

The Tatkal booking facility is meant to provide reservation facility to passengers who undertake train journey at short notice. IRCTC through its apps and website offers online booking facility under the Tatkal scheme. Tatkal tickets can be booked one day in advance excluding the date of journey from the train originating station, according to IRCTC’s website. IRCTC website also advises passengers to first check tickets available under the general booking facility before opting for the Tatkal scheme. IRCTC website also says that during the journey, at least one passenger, whose identity card number has been indicated on the ticket, will have to produce original proof of identity indicated on the ticket, failing which all the passengers booked on the ticket will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.

10 Things To Know About The Tatkal Scheme

1) Recently, the Railways reiterated Tatkal rules after some reports mentioned that Railways is introducing several changes and new facilities with effect from 1st July, 2017. “This news is totally incorrect and baseless. This has created a lot of confusion in the minds of the rail users,” the Railways clarified on June 30.

2) 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, the Railways said.

3) Again there is no change in the refund rules of Tatkal tickets, the Railways said. “Under the existing rule, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/ duplicate tatkal ticket. This rule continuous to be in operation.”

4) Recently IRCTC added two new payment facilities for booking tickets under Tatkal as well as general scheme.

5) A new facility, called ‘ePaylater’, is powered by M/s Arthashastra Fintech Pvt Ltd as a pilot project.

6) The service charge levied on use of the ‘ePaylater’ scheme is 3.50 per cent of transaction amount and applicable taxes. To make people aware about the availability of this method, an option of ‘ePaylater’ is displayed at the payment page of the IRCTC website.

Railway Tatkal Booking: Reservation, Cancellation Rules, And New IRCTC Facility
Tatkal tickets can be booked one day in advance excluding the date of journey from the train originating station.
Business | NDTV Profit Team | Updated: August 15, 2017 08:56 IST

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Railway Tatkal Booking: Reservation, Cancellation Rules, And New IRCTC Facility

Recently IRCTC added two new payment facilities for booking tickets under Tatkal.
The Tatkal booking facility is meant to provide reservation facility to passengers who undertake train journey at short notice. IRCTC through its apps and website offers online booking facility under the Tatkal scheme. Tatkal tickets can be booked one day in advance excluding the date of journey from the train originating station, according to IRCTC’s website. IRCTC website also advises passengers to first check tickets available under the general booking facility before opting for the Tatkal scheme. IRCTC website also says that during the journey, at least one passenger, whose identity card number has been indicated on the ticket, will have to produce original proof of identity indicated on the ticket, failing which all the passengers booked on the ticket will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.

10 Things To Know About The Tatkal Scheme

1) Recently, the Railways reiterated Tatkal rules after some reports mentioned that Railways is introducing several changes and new facilities with effect from 1st July, 2017. “This news is totally incorrect and baseless. This has created a lot of confusion in the minds of the rail users,” the Railways clarified on June 30.

2) 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, the Railways said.

3) Again there is no change in the refund rules of Tatkal tickets, the Railways said. “Under the existing rule, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/ duplicate tatkal ticket. This rule continuous to be in operation.”

4) Recently IRCTC added two new payment facilities for booking tickets under Tatkal as well as general scheme.

5) A new facility, called ‘ePaylater’, is powered by M/s Arthashastra Fintech Pvt Ltd as a pilot project.

6) The service charge levied on use of the ‘ePaylater’ scheme is 3.50 per cent of transaction amount and applicable taxes. To make people aware about the availability of this method, an option of ‘ePaylater’ is displayed at the payment page of the IRCTC website.
tatkal irctc
(A screenshot from IRCTC website. To avail this new facility, an user has to close Pay On Delivery/Paylater option on the left which appears on the payments page)

7) In another Pay-On-Delivery option – powered by Anduril Technologies – IRCTC users will be able to pay via cash, debit card or credit card by opting to have tickets delivered at their doorstep.

8) “The pay on delivery feature circumvents the use of a payment gateway and will help users make the bookings in just a few seconds greatly increasing their chance of booking a confirmed ticket under the Tatkal quota,” said Anduril Technologies CEO Anurag Bajpai.

9) If you opt for the ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ option – powered by Anduril Technologies – via the IRCTC website, you will be led to a page which states: “In case, if the travel is within next 24 hrs, you are requested to pay online through payment link forwarded to the email given at the time of booking. Door step payment collection will be attempted within next 24-72 hours. In case of non-payment before the travel date, the ticket will be cancelled and the user will be liable to pay the cancellation charges.”

10) Refusal on part of the customer to pay for the ticket shall amount to its cancellation and the customer shall be liable to pay for the cancellation charges, failure of which shall invite strict action as per law and user account will be deactivated, the IRCTC website said. Transaction charges for this facility range from Rs. 90 to Rs. 120 plus applicable taxes for transaction. (With agency inputs)

Railways set the stock rolling to bring back Delhi’s Ring Rail on track

Delhi’s Ring railway may be revived soon. Northern Railways plans to run both freight and goods trains on tracks parallel to each other.

However, encroachments at certain sections of the circuit have been preventing the authorities from executing their ideas, officials said.

Under the present two-track system, 90 goods trains run along with just nine passenger ones. Railway officials plan to add two more tracks, which would run parallel to the existing system. The additional tracks could be used for more passenger trains.

“We have minimal passenger trains as it has not gained enough popularity. The two new tracks will run these trains and provide EMUs for suburban connectivity,” RN Singh, DRM (Delhi division) told, adding that encroachment next to the tracks are hampering these plans.

To remove the encroachments, Railways had paid Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Rs 11.25 crores in 2003-04 for the relocation of 4,410 jhuggis. However, only 257 of them have been removed so far, a railway official said.

“We have requested the chief secretary of NCT Delhi for the expeditious removal of encroachment which are not only affecting the development of infrastructure, but also the maintenance activities and safety of railway operation. Certain sections also fall under the ring railway system that needs to get cleared for the tracks to be executed,” said Singh.

The ring railway system was constructed in 1975 and has 21 stations in a circular network of approximately 35km. The Railways had been conducting feasibility studies on the revival of the system that also identified pockets under the railways which can be used for commercial purposes. Officials said its utilisation could help make the system more financially viable and provide better facilities to people.

“We have plots in certain pockets which can be given for commercial use as well as shops. This will generate additional revenue and passengers who use suburban trains can also get better facilities,” Singh added.

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