In a big relief to passengers, the Indian Railways has announced that if a train is cancelled fully–from the start station to the end station–tickets will be cancelled and the amount will be refunded automatically in the accounts with which the booking was done.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in a tweet said, “PNR (passenger name record) will be automatically cancelled. Refunds will be processed in the same account through which payment was made.”
The government had recently announced that a passenger could claim refunds if the train doesn’t depart within three hours of the scheduled departure time. The passenger is also entitled for refund if the train’s route has been diverted and he/she doesn’t want to travel on that route.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha recently stated that the government has taken a slew of measures to strengthen the online ticket reservation system, including the Tatkal scheme. For instance, advance reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance, excluding the date of journey at the train originating station.
Following the new announcements by the Railways, a passenger can book advance tickets 120 days, prior to date of journey. Six tickets can be booked monthly from one user ID, and 12 if the user is Aadhaar-verified. A maximum of two tickets can be booked from one ID during 8-10 am. Meanwhile, under Tatkal (current reservation) a maximum of six berths/seats can be booked at a time for a specified journey between any two stations served by the train subject to distance restrictions in force.
The government has been taking steps to cut down agents from the process, following the new announcements, agents are allowed to book tickets between 8 am and 8.30 am, 10 am and 10.30 am and, 11 am and 11.30 am. Authorised travel agents cannot book tatkal tickets during the first 30 minutes after online reservation opens. This is to prevent them from booking several tickets in a short span, and give passengers time to book tickets for themselves.