New Delhi: To ease pressure, Railways has decided to stagger booking of tatkal tickets by allowing reservations in AC class from 10 am to 11 am and non-AC class from 11 am.
The new tatkal booking schedule will come into effect in the next couple of days, a senior Railways official said.
The Railways is also toying with the idea of giving refund on cancellation of confirmed tatkal tickets, the percentage of which would be calculated based on a time frame.
The public transporter has decided to rechristen premium trains as “Suvidha” trains with an overhaul in the fare structure, and cancellations and bookings facilities, Railway Board Member (Traffic) Ajay Shukla said.
Announcing the changes in timing of tatkal bookings for AC and non-AC classes, he said the measures were taken to ensure “fast service while booking online and reducing passenger rush at the counters”.
Talking to reporters, Mr Sharma said the IRCTC website had recently registered three crore hits in a day, slowing the server in the process.
Besides, he said plans are afoot to refund a percentage of fare on cancellation of confirmed tatkal tickets, which is hitherto unavailable.
“We are considering to refund certain percentage. We will have a time frame and if a passenger cancels (a tatkal ticket) within the time frame, he will be refunded accordingly,” he said.
Refunds will also be available on cancellations of tickets of premium trains and such refunds would go “up to 50 per cent”, he said. At present, no such facility is available, making such services unpopular among a segment of the customers.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mr Shukla said premium trains itself would undergo a transformation so as to benefit more passengers and would be called “Suvidha”.
Keeping in mind that the dynamic fare mechanism makes travel expensive for some passengers in such trains, Mr Shukla said, the fare structure would be revised.
“At present, there has been instances when passengers booking in AC 3-tier had to pay more than a fellow passenger travelling in AC 2-tier. Besides, under the mechanism ticket fare used to shoot up by three times in a single day. We intend to put an end to all such anomalies,” he said.
Premium trains are run on busy routes with high patronage.
Plans are afoot to launch ‘Tatkal Special’ train service soon. These would be run on particular routes to handle the passenger rush, he added.