In order to provide greater focus in key areas, new cross-functional directorates have been created in the Ministry of Railways and areas of work allocated to Members in the Railway Board have been distributed and re-designated on business lines/functional lines. These changes have been made to bring about overall improvement in functioning in identified mission areas including in the areas pertaining to passenger facilities in areas such as mobility of trains, cleanliness and environment. Conceptualization of the schemes reforms/changes in existing systems and processes for providing improved facilities to passengers and its implementation is a continuous and ongoing process. Certain facilities are provided at the time of construction of new stations based on anticipated traffic. The facilities are further augmented from time to time with growth in passenger traffic at stations, based on the needs and expectations of the travelling public and the availability of funds and suggestion received from various committees, expert and public etc. In recent past Indian Railways have taken various steps to improve the services and facilitate the passengers, some of which are as under:-
i. Introduction of the Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme known as ‘VIKALP’ to give option to waitlisted passengers to shift to alternate train having vacant accommodation.
ii. Provision of facility to physically handicapped persons to book reserved tickets online.
iii. Introduction of paperless unreserved ticket booking through mobile phone.
iv. Automatic refund of confirmed/ Reservation Against Cancellation(RAC)/e- tickets on cancellation of trains.
v. Enhancement of Senior Citizen Quota as well as quota earmarked for physically handicapped persons.
vi. Making provision in the system for automatic preparation of reservation charts at least four hours before the scheduled departure of train.
vii. Provision of facility to book available accommodation after preparation of first reservation chart through internet as well as across any computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter upto preparation of second reservation chart.
viii. Acceptance of all International Credit/Debit cards for booking of e-tickets through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation ( IRCTC ) website.
ix. The passengers having confirmed/RAC/Waitlisted PRS counter tickets may cancel the same through IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in) or through 139 within the prescribed time limit and the refund amount maybe collected across PRS counter on surrendering the original ticket.
x. In order to facilitate cancellation of PRS counter tickets at relatively smaller stations, one of the Unreserved Ticketing System( UTS) cum PRS counters (wherever PRS booking facility is available) has been earmarked for granting refund beyond the working hours of PRS counters/Current counters. This facility is available in respect of PRS counter tickets for those trains whose scheduled departure time is within the next 24 hours.
xi. Establishment of Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras for issuing of tickets through public private partnership for establishment and operation of computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS)-cum Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)terminals.
xii. Introduction of facility for booking unreserved ticket through mobile phone was introduced in the suburban sections over Mumbai and Chennai to facilitate passengers to book unreserved ticket through mobile phones.
xiii. Introduction of paperless Unreserved tickets on Mobile introduced as a part of “Operation 5 Minutes” in Chennai suburban section of Tambaram-Egmore on Southern Railway.
xiv. Commencement of concierge services with facility for online booking of wheelchairs through IRCTC website at New Delhi and 23 other stations.
xv. Provision of currency Operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (CoVTM) in Delhi and Mumbai to facilitate purchase of unreserved journey tickets.
xvi. Launch of facility for paperless MST on Mobile phones in sub-urban sectors of Mumbai in Western Railway and Central Railway and in the Delhi-Palwal section of Northern Railway.
xvii. Launch of platform ticket on Mobile for Western Railway, Central Railway and Northern Railway (New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway stations).
xviii. Extension of e-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs.
xix. Commissioning of online booking of retiring room at 488 Railway stations.
xx. Customer commitment charter to commit to our customer the service level targets of Railways, is process.
Suggestions received from various quarters including Committees for improving in passenger facilities are examined and wherever found feasible, action is initiated subject to availability of funds and inter-se priority of works.