Facing Outrage, Railways Drops Plan To Impose Penalty On Excess Luggage
June 8th, 2018
Representational Image: Pragativadi
Six days after Railways announced that penalty will be levied on carrying excess baggage, the plan was dropped after heavy criticism from the public. Many people took to social media to show their displeasure with the implementation of the 30-year-old rule.
According to railway ministry spokesperson Rajesh Bajpayee, the drive was to ensure that people know how carrying excess luggage causes inconvenience to other travellers. The six-day drive that started on June 1 to inform passengers about the excess baggage fees was denounced on June 7.
The anti people Modi government will now charge six-time penalty for carrying excess luggage.
Officials say excess baggage carried without paying fees will draw a penalty – the amount will be six times the fee.
What is @PiyushGoyal and Ministry of Railways upto?
— Rudranil (@rudranilblue) June 5, 2018
“It was felt that in the heavy summer rush, passengers carrying excess luggage cause much inconvenience to fellow passengers. Hence, a special education-cum-awareness drive was launched,” he said, reported NDTV.
On June 1, a drive was introduced that said Indian railway passengers will have to pay for carrying excess luggage as the Railways decided to implement its over 30-year-old baggage allowance rules stringently. The move was set in place after the Indian Railways received numerous complaints from passengers regarding excess luggage being dragged into the compartments.
The three-decade-old baggage allowance rules, which many passengers weren’t even aware of, was implemented and passengers were to pay up to six times the stipulated amount of money as a penalty if caught travelling with excess luggage, said an official to the Times of India.
Similar to airlines, the new railway rules mandated that extra charges will be applied for extra luggage. Additionally, one has to book excess luggage in advance which will be kept in the luggage van. Ved Prakash, a senior official of the Railway Board’s Information department was quoted by the PTI as saying, “The rules were already in place, we are just enforcing them strictly now.”
What are the baggage rules?
According to norms,
Passengers travelling in sleeper class and second class can carry luggage weighing up-to 40 kg and 35 kg, respectively.
Similarly, a passenger travelling in AC First class could carry up to 70 kgs of luggage for free and a maximum of 150 kgs after paying a fee for the extra 80 kgs. While an AC two-tier passenger was allowed to carry 50 kgs of luggage for free and a maximum of 100 kgs after paying a fee for the excess of 50 kgs.
Additionally, the norms say that trunks, suitcases, and boxes should adhere to the measurements of 100 cm x 60 cm x 25 cm (length, breadth, height) for personal luggage that can be carried in the compartments.
The Logical Indian Take
While the plan was shelved due to outrage, it is also important to understand that Railways decided to introduce the rule after passengers complained about excess luggage in compartments. A train compartment has a limited space and is often overcrowded. Carrying excess luggage causes inconvenience to other passengers. Rules or not, we should always be considerate of our fellow travellers.