More than 9 billion people commute in India using trains of various types. Their destinations may be different, but what ties them together is their reliance on trains! Indian trains serve as the transportation lifeline of our great nation. And keeping that in mind, there are new regulations announced from time to time which aims at increasing the conveniences in train travel. Today, we throw a spotlight on some such recent rules.
Aadhar Card becomes compulsory for Senior Citizens concession
Let us start with the latest announcement. A widespread misuse of the senior citizens concession has been reported in the past few months. Often the unauthorized agents use this special concession for their personal benefits, causing immense losses to the Railways and also depriving genuine travellers from getting the required seats. Aadhar card verification will become compulsory, under this new regulation, effective from April 1 2017. It will be kept at optional level from January-March.
How this works?
- Login using your user ID and password.
- While booking for a senior citizen passenger, provide the accurate name, date of birth and gender as mentioned in the Aadhar Card.
- Select the Senior Citizen Concession option by ticking on “Yes”.
- Provide the Aadhar card number in the ID card type option.
- For over the counter bookings, the form will carry a provision for providing the Aadhar Card number.
Booking tickets 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure
This rule came into has come into effect from November 12, this year. According to the rule, passengers can now book tickets in a train as late as 30 minutes before its scheduled departure. To accommodate this new rule, railways will now prepare their reservation charts twice. The first chart will be prepared four hours prior to departure while the second one (and the final one) would be done just 30 minutes prior.
What this means?
- Concerned departments of railways will finalize their reservation charts four hours before the departure time of the train and all the vacancies will be mentioned in the chart.
- These vacancies will be made available for online as well as over the counter bookings.
- Passengers can book tickets for a train, based on the vacancies, till 30 minutes before the departure time.
- Once the 30 minutes’ threshold is reached, the booking will close and the last chart will be prepared.
- The final chart will be put up on the concerned coach as well as handed over to the ticket booking staff.
- However, refunds will be given against cancellations, only when it is done at least four hours before the departure time.
- This new rule will attend the needs of passengers having last minute travel plans or travelling due to certain emergencies.
Now Travel Insurance of 10 Lakh with Re 1 Premium
One of the biggest drawbacks of train travel is that you are not protected against any accident or untoward incident. This grey area has now been addressed by Indian Railways with the optional train travel insurance plan. This plan which was launched on September 1, this year has got widespread support. Though not a Railway Rule, passengers are surely going to gain with this move.
What this means?
- The travel insurance can be opted for while booking tickets through IRCTC and you have to pay just 92 Paisa for the policy.
- The benefit is available for all types of trains, apart from the suburban locals.
- The policy terms will remain same irrespective of the class or train, passenger is travelling in.
- Travelers and their families would receive a compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh in the event of death or permanent total disability.
- Rs 7.5 lakh would be provided for permanent partial disability.
- Upto Rs. 2 lakh can be claimed for hospitalization expenses and Rs 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains in the event of death or injury from a train accident or other ‘untoward incident’ including terrorist attacks, rioting, shoot-out or arson.
- This scheme is also applicable for Vikalp trains, short terminated and diverted trains. In case of short termination, if the passenger opts for any alternate mode of transportation, then the expenses for such a journey will be covered under the policy.
- Claims have to be made with supporting documents within four months of the incident. On receiving this, the claim would be processed and a cheque would be sent within 15 days of receipt of documents.
- When a ticket is cancelled, IRCTC will make auto refund of the Premium amount.
Hope we have been able to clarify some of the recent regulations of Indian Railways.