Rlys to offer options on senior citizen fare concession

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2017 09:52:39


By Sagar Mohod,

Indian Railway has reframed its policy regarding concessions to senior citizens, wherein it is now appealing to people’s conscience so that they can either opt to waiver of full of atleast part subsidy. The new format of reservation slip introduced by Railways has now a new column wherein elderly travellers can tick mark on either 100 per cent or 50 per cent option for relinquishing the concession.

After taking a review of the subsidy scheme wherein it wanted travellers to forgo entire subsidy, now the Railway Board decided that people would be willing to pay 50 per cent of actual ticket cost. The necessary modification in the passenger railway system (PRS) has been incorporated by Centre of Railway Information System (CRIS). The Railways claim that they recover only 55 per cent of the entire cost of travel from the travellers and the ticket rates are heavily subsidised and it is blowing a big hole in its finances.

The aim of Railways is to hike the ticket rates but given the general sentiments of Indian travellers the travel continues to be subsidised. Currently senior citizens can get ticket at fifty per cent of the cost and as their numbers is increasing the Railways has undertaken efforts to reach out to people at large. It feels that majority of citizens can afford to purchase ticket at normal rates and hence it first urged them to forgo concession. Same measure was first tried out on Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website for on-line booking of tickets.

Now that a number of people prefer hard ticket purchased through PRS counters, the new type of reservation slip is introduced. Another modification done by Railways now pertains to automatic upgradation without any extra charge in case there are vacant berths. Now Railways has decided to automatically upgrade passengers who have paid their ticket charges in full even if at time of filling-up the slip the box pertaining to upgradation was not ticked.