Saturday, February 11, 2012

Advance reservation for rail journey in India and Rail Budget 2012-2013

Train journey in India just not boost the India tourism but this the most important and very essential means of public transportation available in the country. Train travel facility in India is provided by the government and every year a separate budget of railway is presented in the parliament.
Rail budget for the year 2012 – 2013 is round the corner and this appears that rail ministry for a change is going to give emphasis on the traveling comforts of passengers by improving system of reservation of journey tickets.  A few steps like reducing the time of Tatkal reservation to 24 hours or increasing the time period of advance reservation from 90 days to 120 days has been already implemented. News says that rail ministry is working on the plan to assure a train seat for all those who request for reservation. Certainly this is great news but we have to look at what we are getting presently.
Tatkal reservation facility was introduced to provide tickets to passengers forced to travel without a pre scheduled plan but today this is working as the additional income source for railways, in the most of trains almost one third of available seats are not booked as being kept reserved for Tatkal.
When a person goes for reservation and find the waiting list close to 100 he opt to pay more and go for Tatkal, here it is not possible for everyone to have computer hence most of passengers are forced to ask travel agents and pay yet another amount.
If the rail ministry is sincere about improving the reservation system here are few suggestions:
1] Passengers traveling in group should be allowed to book journey tickets 120 days in advance of journey date. Here a single ticket will be issued for entire group and this will be essential for every adult to carry photo identity during journey.
2] A family [minimum four and maximum 20 members] will also be allowed to book tickets 120 days in advance, here all the members must have same surname and every adult should carry photo identity during journey.
3] Only 10% of total available train seats will be available for [1] & [2].
4] Instead of present system only 10% of total available seats should be available for Tatkal booking. Charge of Tatkal should not be more than 10% of fare. 
5] Advance reservation should be started 45 days in advance of actual journey date for 70% of available seats keeping 10% seats apart to be made available for booking 7 days in advance so that youth going for interview or travelers without pre schedule travel plan can also get confirmed seats without paying for Tatkal.
6] Rule should be made for non refundable advance reservation for this a discount of 10% on fare can be allowed. When there will no provision of refund surely the cancellation will reduced.
7] RAC waiting list should not be in excess of available seats. For example if in a particular train there are 90 side lower birth in sleeper class RAC waiting should be closed at 90.
8] Similarly not more than 10% of total available seats should be booked under waiting list.
9] Every adult traveling in reserved comportment should carry photo identity proof.
10] A new category NTW [New train Waiting List] should be introduced with 20% additional fare, when for a particular train booking under this category crossed 500 mark a new train should be allowed to depart from the originating station within 30-45 minutes of original train. In this new train there will be no unreserved comportments barring the half of coaches attached to engine and guard coach.
11] Passengers of original train with RAC and Waiting List should be given option of auto upgrade to NTW list at the time of booking and difference to be collected by concerned coach ticket conductor during the traveling. This will give assurance of seats to all those who opt for reservation. 
12] Like the A.C. coaches internal entrance should also be made in the sleeper class coaches, There should be attended in each and every coach. Like the Garib Rath paid Sleeping bag facility should also be introduced in the sleeper class for the passengers traveling overnight.
13] Dinning car must be part of long rout trains, journey time more than 15 hours, in these trains there should be a minimum 6 coaches for unreserved passengers apart from the two half coaches attached to engine and guard coach which should be kept reserved for Military personals, Women and handicapped travelers and their companions.

No comments: