The Indian Railways has introduced a new facility to book Tatkal tickets that is set to make the booking process much simpler. The website of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) has rolled out the facility that works on a book now and pay later mode wherein a customer can book an e-ticket and pay the fare within a period of 15 days through the website.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain gave this information in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. In a press release on the same day, the Ministry of Railways informed that the facility will be powered by M/s Arthashastra Fintech Pvt. Ltd.
The ministry said it is a pilot project introduced by the IRCTC. While booking an e-ticket, the customer will be provided with an ‘ePaylater’ scheme and a service charge of 3.5 per cent is levied on the transaction amount along with other taxes.
Once a customer books the e-ticket with the ePaylater option, an email link and SMS is received for making the payment within the stipulated period. The IRCTC website, in the terms and conditions, adds if a customer fails to make the payment within 14 days, it “will lead to levy of penal interest at the rate of 36% per annum and may also lead to cancellation of your ticket and/or user account deactivation.” This service works on a first-come-first-served model.
Some things to note before making Tatkal reservations:
A customer will have to pay the Tatkal booking charge over and above the ticket amount.
On one passenger name record (PNR), only four Tatkal e-ticket reservations can be made.
Keep the dynamic pricing in mind. The Railways introduced the Premium Tatkal facility in 2014 for specific routes and trains. In this facility, the tickets are booked on dynamic pricing meaning as the percentage of berths booked increase, the prices of the tickets go up as well according to set caps. The Tatkal charges are charged on the ticket amount offered at that moment.
It is also to be noted that the Railways does not give any waiver or concession in Tatkal bookings. It also bars any sort of changes in the ticket if it is booked in the Tatkal service.
As of now, a customer is charged 10 per cent on basic fare for Tatkal booking for second class. It charges 30 per cent of basic fare over and above the basic price in all other classes but within a set minimum and maximum limit.