KOLKATA: The Indian Railways has made some changes in the policy of allowing 50% concession on the base fare of children in the 6 to 12 age group for distances below 300 km.
Consider a trip to Jamshedpur. If you travel by the AC chair car of Ispat Express or Steel Express from Howrah, your child will be charged Rs 305 when the adult fare is Rs 430.
However, if you travel by AC First Class in Steel Express, the child ticket will cost Rs 1,230 which is the same as the adult fare. Similarly, if you travel by Sleeper Class in Gitanjali Express to Jamshedpur, the child's ticket will cost Rs 170 instead of Rs 210 charged from adults. But, if you choose to travel by AC-III tier of this train, you will end up paying Rs 535 for your child, same as the adult fare.
If you are travelling to Asansol by AC Chair Car of Black Diamond Express, the child fare will be Rs 305 and adult fare Rs 390. However, if you choose to travel by Poorva Express, your child will be charged Rs 535 similar to that of the adult fare.
Now, children up to the age of five are permitted to travel free on trains. Till recently, those between 6 and 12 years of age were allowed a concession of 50% on base fare. Though a Railway Board circular (No. tcii/2941/11/policy) dated October 26, 2012, stated that 'concessions will be admissible subject to the minimum distance of 300 km' from April 1, 2013, there was no mention of the trains that would allow concessions and those that wouldn't.
"The ultimate plan of the railways is to do away with such concessions altogether. A child travelling with concession occupies a seat or berth just like an adult. Had that seat or berth been booked by an adult, the railways would have received the full fare. If people don't grudge paying airlines full fare for children, why should they seek concession during rail travel? Earlier, this was an additional service offered to passengers but with the railways going through a funds crunch, the day may not be far when concessions are done away with, at least for upper class travel," a senior official in the Railway Board said.
Source..times of india.