Feb 11, 2014

Western Railway to start 54 special counters to beat touts


MUMBAI: Western Railway has designated 54 counters as passenger reservation system (PRS) centres across Mumbai division only for those who wish to travel personally.
WR's chief public relations officer Sharat Chandrayan said, "These self-advance reservation counters have been introduced to facilitate genuine customers, who wish to book tickets for summer vacations. They will help curb malpractices in reservation bookings."

The counters, at 25 stations, including 17 suburban stations, will operate from 8am-9.45am from February 13 to April 10, 2014.

The passenger will have to submit a self-attested copy of ID proof along with requisition slip. They will also have to present the original ID for verification.

This facility will also be available at counters reserved for ladies, senior citizens, cancer patients and the differently-abled at Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Andheri and Borivli.

Passengers have welcomed the WR initiative to open self-tatkal ticket counters at select PRS centres. Under this, separate queues are maintained for persons wanting to book tatkal tickets for themselves. Commuters will have to carry a self-attested copy of ID proof along with original ID.

Borivli resident Himmat Shah said, "This will definitely bring down dependency on touts, who send their men in advance to booking counters to corner tickets for clients, who are willing to pay a premium."

Mira Road resident J Pandya said, "Though the decision is well-intentioned, it may not be of much benefit as reservations get full within minutes. The railways must increase coach capacity during the peak season."
Source - TOI



Kharge to announce several new trains on 12 Feb

New Delhi: Faced with revenue shortfall, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to refrain from announcing many populist measures in the interim budget on 12 February. However, there will be announcement of new trains and some measures for providing better amenities at stations and trains besides steps to strengthen safety for passengers. Since Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, there are demands from many zones and MPs for new trains.

Kharge has conceded some demands and as a result survey of new lines, extension and increase of certain train service are also to be announced in the vote-on-account statement, sources said. The vote-on-account is likely to mention the expeditious work on coaching complex for maintenance facility at Gulberga. Kharge has expressed serious concern over falling revenue and categorically asked to undertake all possible steps to arrest the further fall in earnings in the recent general managers' meeting. The minister is also likely to address the issue of increased number of fire incidents in trains in the recent past by rolling out plans for anti-fire measures in certain important trains. Beside, he is expected to focus on more passenger-friendly measures like installation of upgraded real-time train information system at stations and operation of automatic ticket vending machines at many stations. While the working expenses have gone up by about Rs 5,000 crore during April-December period, the revenue earnings have decreased by over Rs 3,000 crore. Though railways have set a target of reaching at 38 percent of total cargo traffic in the 12th Plan, the cargo share of railways is expected to fall by two to three percent this year. There is also a fall in passenger bookings during April-December period which is a cause of worry for the national transporter. Kharge, perceived to be a reformist, has taken many bold steps to increase the revenue like allowing fuel adjustment component in passenger and freight fares, increasing Duronto fares and revising Rajdhani catering charges. He had also allowed dynamic fares in special trains to encash the increased demand of berths in Delhi-Mumbai sector as a pilot project. All these steps had resulted in hike in passenger fares but the Congress strong man from Karnataka had taken it in the railway interest. PTI

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