The recent announcement by the Indian Railways has brought relief to a lot of people especially those who travel often as their work expects.
From 1 April, passengers may be able to travel in the premier Shatabdi or Rajdhani trains if they have booked tickets in any ordinary mail or express trains. Starting next month, the Indian Railways is launching a new scheme named ‘Vikalp’ under which the passengers with a waiting list ticket can get confirmed berths in the next alternative train going on the same route.
The passengers will have to opt for this option before booking a ticket. For this, the travelers will not be charged anything extra or will not be provided any refund for the difference in fare.
The scheme ‘Vikalp’ which means alternative, aims to utilise the vacant berths in premier trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and other special ones in all the major routes.
Every year, Railways return about Rs 7,500 crore a year as refunds to passengers on cancellation of tickets for various reasons. This option has been provided to the travelers with an aim to provide confirm accommodation to the wait-listed passengers and also optimal utilization of the available accommodation.
This introduction of the flexi-fare system in the premiers trains have ensured that no berth in the train goes vacant. No additional cost is involved to the Railways.
As of now, the railways has run the scheme in the six routes which include Delhi-Jammu, Delhi- Lucknow, Delhi- Mumbai as a trial. The system is available for the online ticketing and will be extended over to the counter sales.
The passenger when opts for the ‘Vikalp’ scheme while booking tickets will get an SMS alert on the cell phone about getting confirmed accommodation in the alternative train. The details of the passengers will no be given in the waitlisted charts of the original details. A separate list of passengers in the alternative train will be put along with the waitlist and confirmed charts.
The Logical Indian appreciates the move by the Indian Railways and many passengers who are unable to get reservations done in time, can avail this facility.