Railways scrap ‘unfair’ tatkal first rule for extra coaches

In what could bring relief to lakhs of long distance passengers who stand in serpentine queues and book their tickets almost four months in advance, the railways has scrapped a rule that gave preference to waitlisted tatkal tickets, bought just a day before the journey, when it came to providing reservations in extra coaches attached to a train.

The railways attach 2-3 extra coaches in almost all crowd-heavy trains during peak season to ensure more people get reserved seats. However, a rule in May 2012 stated that first preference should be given to clearing the waiting list in the tatkal quota and only then the normal passenger waiting list should be cleared.

“It was unfair on those who booked tickets in advance. With the large number of waiting lists in the tatkal system, it meant that all the extra coaches would be taken up by those who had bought tatkal tickets while other passengers would see absolutely no upward movement in the status of their tickets,” said a railway official. The ‘tatkal first’ rule was the brainchild of Central Railway’s general manager Subodh Jain who proposed the idea to the railway ministry in January last year. The ministry had accepted it in May. However, against the CR’s recommendation that just one-third of these extra coaches be reserved for the tatkal waiting list, the ministry went ahead with the rule without any upper limit on tatkal tickets. The scheme started of with a bang with all zones claiming that they had managed to clear their tatkal waiting lists but complaints soon started pouring in from regular passengers who were finding it all the more tough.


Roll back on ‘Tatkal’ ticket norm

The Railway Board has rolled back a circular under which ‘Tatkal’ ticket holders were given priority while clearing waiting lists over normal reservation ticket holders.

The circular was taken back by the Railway Board after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed at the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s principal bench at Jabalpur on the issue, after which the court on December 12 last year directed the railways to appoint a competent official where the petitioner could file his complaint in this regard.

However, the railways moved a review petition on Wednesday to inform the HC that it has withdrawn the circular under which ‘Tatkal’ ticket holders were given priority in clearing waiting lists, over those with normal reservation.

The PIL was filed by Sanjeev Pandey, who termed the circular as against the interest of large numbers of normal reservation ticket holders who book their tickets three to four months in advance to get confirmed tickets.

The Railway Board’s decision is expected to benefit a large number of railway passengers, especially those who cannot spend enough money to book a ‘Tatkal’ ticket.


Published in: on January 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tatkal form goes pink

Northern Railway has introduced a dedicated reservation forms for tatkal. Different from the normal white reservation forms, this pink form is bigger and has extra columns and space for information.

The form will soon be available at booking counters. To check the menace of touts buying tatkal tickets, the form has a column for “warnings”.

In case of purchase of tickets from a tout or unauthorised travel agent on fictitious names, addresses or contact number, the passenger is liable to pay penalty and/or imprisonment as per the provision of Railway Act 1989, says the warning published in bold on the form.

According to railway officials, if address/phone/mobile of the passenger is found to be false during journey, he or she will be deboarded at the next station.

“A separate reservation form for tatkal is important because it is a special service offered by the railways with different set of document requirements,” said an official.

To check menace of touts, the form has a column for “warnings”