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Indian Railways sees to it that your rail experience remains pleasant and comfortable

 In the Union Budget 2018 presented by FM Arun Jaitley on February 1 the government announced highest ever capital expenditure for Indian Railways. The budget allotment of Rs 1.48 lakh crore was focused on primarily augmenting the comfort of the rail journey. In other words, passenger-orientation was the major concern of the government. 

The following are the welcome passenger-friendly measures of the Railways. 

Digitization being one of the top priorities of the government, Railways facilitates the passengers in booking reserved and unreserved tickets through mobile phones which have almost become an integral part of almost all. 

Next logical step is promoting various kinds of cashless modes of payment like net banking, e-wallets and also thru credit and debit cards through Point of Sale (POS) machines; in fact cashless financial transaction is another pet notion of the government which the government strongly believes will go a long way in achieving transparency of activities.

 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines across railway stations are great passenger-friendly initiative..

 Installing separate counters for the disabled, the senior citizens and ladies expresses the concern of the Railways for passengers comfort. 

 The national transporter has introduced the system of automatic preparation of first reservation charts, which will be done at least 4 hours prior to the scheduled departure of train.

  Also till second reservation charts are prepared, passengers can book tickets through internet and also through PRS counters, depending on the availability of tickets. 

Exploiting the most popular SMS system to inform the passengers about their reservation status, train cancellation and more significantly, train delays is another welcome initiative of appeal to the passengers. By extension of online support, passengers can cancel their computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter tickets through official web portal of IRCTC or through 139  and consequently, the passengers with e-tickets will get an automatic refund by the Indian Railways. 

Through innovative initiative of ‘VIKALP’, the national transporter maximizes the utilization of available accommodation and under this scheme, confirmed accommodation will be provided to waitlisted passengers in alternate trains. 

To increase capacity for accommodation, the Railways have increased the number of berths   which have been earmarked as RAC. 

 To make the railway journey more comfortable for senior citizens, pregnant women and female passengers 45 years of age and above, Indian Railways introduced combined quota of 6 lower berths per sleeper class coach, 3 lower berths per 3 tier AC coach and also 3 lower berths per 2 tier AC coach. In addition to this, under this quota 4 lower berths per coach are earmarked in Rajdhani, Duronto and fully Air Conditioned or Express trains. In a bid to provide better service to people with disability, Indian Railways introduced reservation quota of 2 berths in 3 tier AC class and 4 berths in sleeper class. 

 Indian Railways’ Garib Rath Express trains have kept a reservation Quota of 6 berths in 3 tier AC class for exclusive use of women railway passengers irrespective of their age while travelling alone or in group of women passengers. 

Indian Railways has also introduced Sarathi Seva to assist old and disabled railway passengers and also made it easy for such passengers to book Battery Operated Car (BOC), porter services etc. on a paid basis. This is in addition to the existing pick up and drop facility and wheelchair services. Also, to book such wheelchair services cum porter services, Indian Railways came up with Yatri Mitra Sewa across major railway stations.

 Indian Railways has installed electronic display boards across A-1 and A category railways stations. Also it has introduced public address systems at A-1, A and B category railway stations, which could be extended upto D category of stations. 

 In order to encourage internet booking of tickets, Indian Railways introduced many steps like withdrawing of service charge imposed by IRCTC, enhancing the server capacity, increasing the options available for making payment while online ticket booking and others. Due to these efforts by Indian Railways, online ticketing now constitute around 65 per cent of total reserved tickets issued by the national transporter. 

The initiatives listed above make it abundantly clear that a careful thought has been bestowed on passenger-comfort and they will certainly transform train journey one of pleasure, hassle-free from reservation to cancellation with no loss of money, at that.

 


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