To ease pressure during peak hours, 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 railway official said.
It is also toying with the idea of giving refund on cancellation of tatkal tickets, the percentage of which would be calculated based on a time frames. The public transporter has decided to rechristen premium trains as “Suvidha” trains with an overhaul in the fare structure, cancellations and bookings, Railway 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, 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 tatkal tickets, which is hitherto unavailable. “We are considering to refund certain percentage. We will have a time frame and if a passenger refunds within the time frame, he will be refunded accordingly,” he said.
Refunds will also be available on cancellations of tickets of premier 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.