The “compensation-for-delay” scheme of the IRCTC-run Tejas Express may not apply in cases of delay due to fog in winters, which may be termed “act of God”. The final decision on this is yet to be taken.
“Ideally delay due to fog should be termed ‘Act of God’ as is built into the insurance system. We will take a call on it. We may also increase the threshold for compensation from (delay of) one hour to two hours etc. We will need to think about it,” M P Mall, IRCTC Managing Director, told The Indian Express.
The Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express is India’s first regular train run and managed completely by a corporate entity and not by Indian Railways through its zonal units. IRCTC will launch another Tejas service from Ahmedabad to Mumbai soon with the same facilities.
IRCTC paid Rs 1.62 lakh in compensation to its passengers on the Lucknow-Delhi train on October 19 since it was delayed by over three hours. Going off schedule meant the train’s return journey from Delhi to Lucknow was also delayed that day. This is for the first time that train passengers in India have received such damages due to lack of punctuality.
The money is being paid by insurance companies and the IRCTC pays the premium through ticket sales. If the train gets delayed by over an hour, the company pays Rs 100 per passenger, while a delay by over two hours entitles passengers to Rs 250.
Insurance claims are routinely rejected across the world over losses suffered due to “act of God” such as natural calamities.
Giving two trains to IRCTC is part of an “experiment” by Indian Railways to set a precursor to bringing in private players to run around 150 trains across India in the first phase.