Bhubaneswar: The Indian Railways on Sunday issued a clarification note, rejecting the introduction of several changes and new facilities with effect from 1st July, 2017, which is being circulated on various social media platforms, WhatsAPP Groups, and some websites.
“This news is totally incorrect and baseless. A section of media has also published this news without verifying it from the authorized sources of the Indian Railway system. This has created a lot of confusion in the minds of the rail users,” said the notification issued by the Ministry of Railways.
The Railways confirmed that no new changes are being introduced from 1st July, 2017; the only new thing is that Railways, like other departments, is rolling out GST with effect from 1st July, 2017.
The notification also said that the Railways has been selling waitlisted tickets both through online (e-ticket) and PRS counters. There is no change in this scheme and railway will continue to do that.
The Ministry of Railways also clarified that the Suvidha Class of Trains, introduced since July, 2015 will continue to run. The waitlisted ticket in such trains is also available, if required. Provision of partial refund in case of Suvidha Train Tickets is available right from the beginning of the scheme.
It also said that there is no any change in the refund rules introduced in November, 2015.
“There is no proposal to discontinue paper tickets for Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains and for that matter in any class of train. However, for passengers booking tickets online (E-Tickets) the tickets received by SMS are a valid authority for travel along with permissible proof of identity,” said the notification further.
Moreover, the notification rejected the rumors on change of Tatkal Tickets booking timings and refund rules of such tickets. It said the change made in 2015 will continue.
There is no such proposal to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing train concessions and for printing tickets (both, e tickets & PRS tickets) in regional languages.
The Ministry of Railways said, “There is no proposal to run duplicate trains. We, in anyway, run special trains to clear the rush during peak season on identified popular routes as per the traffic requirements and operational feasibility.”
Railways have launched ‘VIKALP’, Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) on November 1,2015 with a view to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation. This facility was initially started on New Delhi – Jammu, New Delhi – Lucknow, Delhi – Howrah, Delhi – Chennai, Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Secunderabad Circuits. Now this scheme was expanded to all the sectors on March 22, 2017.
Railways is already running its destination alert facility on its helpline number 139. In addition, a free destination alert service in some Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains was also introduced on a pilot basis for train arrival at destination between 11:00 AM to 6:00 AM already available. So there is no change in this facility also.