Railways Ministry is one of the ministries in India which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years owing to Digital India campaign. From specific app launches to ‘Clean my coach’ service, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to make the lives of passengers easier.
Adding to the list of services, Railway Ministry is all set to introduce a quick calling service to cancel train reservation, irrespective of the existing stipulated time frame. The service is set to be unveiled in April for passengers, intended to make the life of passengers a tad bit easier. The service will be valid only for passengers who have booked their ticket at the ticketing counters.
Indian Railways has recently doubled the cancellation charges to reduce the number of false bookings and want to promote genuine bookings only. However, it has become a burden on the common man to ensure correct bookings are made at his end.
Existing scenario and proposed service
The existing ticket cancellation procedure isn’t very flexible and often passengers face problems in reaching the station to cancel their ticket on time. In fact, if a person is not able to board the train on time, it is quite obvious that the person will not be able to cancel the ticket at the counter either.
To cancel the ticket and initiate some refund, the person has to reach the ticketing booth within 2 hours of train departure. This is quite unfair since a lot of things can crop up at the last moment.
Indian Railways wants to ease the above procedure and have proposed:
- Instead of people claiming the refund before 2 hour post-departure of the train, they can call on 139 and provide details of the confirmed ticket for cancelling it.
- Passenger gets a One Time Password(OTP) for the case opened
- Passenger can reach the offline counter anytime on the same day to claim refund on the ticket
Ministry feels not only will this allow people to save money they would have lost, but also reduce the hassles one has to go through to cancel the ticket. Relaxing the time period is a really helpful move from the Railways Ministry.
As much as the Government is pushing reservations online through IRCTC, offline booths are still functioning for denizens without access to such services and the internet. Next move would be to have kiosks at the stations for self-service which will further reduce the burden on these counters, which could be used for some other important services at the stations.