Thursday, January 7, 2016

Indian Railways Year End Review, 2015

Indian Railways has made impressive progress during the year 2015. Some of the achievements and changes made by railways are discussed below.

Provision of All India Security Helpline ‘182’: All India Security Helpline ‘182’ has been provided over Indian Railway to facilitate the travelling passenger. The service is very important public service and may play an important role in any emergency like crime against women, onboard unlawful activity, train accidents, medical attention required fire etc.

Provision of All India Passenger Helpline ‘138’: The All India Passenger Helpline ‘138’ has been provided as a public interface for quarries/ complaints related to Medical Emergency, Cleanliness, Food & Catering, Coach Maintenance, Linen etc. (Except Security).

Complaint Management System (COMS) Portal: For the help and assistance to bona fide railway passengers to give their feedback and also to register their complaints, Minister of Railways has launched Complaint Management System (COMS) portal on 02.03.2015 which consists of the following application:
  • A mobile app based complaints and suggestion application (currently on the android platform).
  • A web based complaints ans suggestions application on www.coms.indianrailways.gov.in
  • An sms based complaints and suggestion application on the number 9717630982.
E-Catering Services: In order to widen the range of food options available to passengers, E-catering services have been introduced, through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in trains without pantry car or Train Side Vending as well as on 45 designated stations from where passengers of  originating/passing trains can avail of this facility.  IRCTC has set up a call centre with toll free no.   1800-1034-139, developed a website www.ecatering.irctc.co.in and also SMS facility to 139 as MEAL  to take orders.

Water Vending Machine: As a recent initiative, to ensure availability of clean drinking water at low cost to the passengers, a policy on Water Vending Machines (WVMs) has been notified on 16/06/2015. These WVMs are to be set up by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) at identified Railway stations.

Pre-Cooked Food  (ready to eat meals): Railways have conducted trials for service of pre-cooked (ready-to-eat) meals of reputed brands on some trains. A policy guideline on “Ready to Eat Meals” has been issued to zonal railways on 30.01.2015.

New Trains:  Upto the month of November, 2015 112 new trains and 15 extension of trains and 5 increase in frequency have been implemented as announced in Railway Budget 2014-15.  No new train has been announced in Railway Budget 2015-16.

Special Trains: During peak seasons special trains are operated by Indian Railways to clear the extra rush of passengers. This year upto November to facilitate passengers, Indian Railways have run 23666 train trips in the Year 2015-16.

Lower Berths To Senior Citizens:  With a view to facilitate senior citizens and female passengers when travelling alone, a combined reservation quota of two lower berths per coach in Sleeper class has been enhanced to four lower berths per coach is Sleeper class. Further w.e.f. 01.11.2015, the facility of booking tickets under senior citizen quota will be permitted even when two passengers eligible to book tickets under this quota intend to book.

Staggering to Tatkal Booking Timings : W.e.f. 15.06.2015, the timings for reservation under Tatkal scheme has been staggered and now it opens at 10.00 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station. Also, all types of ticketing agents are debarred from booking tickets during first thirty minutes of opening of booking i.e. from 08.00 to 08.30 hours for general bookings, and from 10.00 to 10.30 hours and 11.00 to 11.30 hours for Tatkal booking in AC & non-AC classes respectively.

Automatic refund of Confirmed/ RAC e-tickets on Cancellation of Trains: Automatic refund of Confirmed/ RAC e-tickets on cancellation of trains similar to waitlisted e-tickets is granted There is no requirement for cancellation/filing of TDR for refund of e-ticket in case of cancellation of trains.

Introduction of Suvidha Trains: Suvidha Trains have been introduced wherein the maximum Advance Reservation Period is 30 days while the minimum Advance Reservation Period is 10 days. Zonal Railways will decide the exact ARP of reach train within this limit.

Opening of PRS counters beyond 2000 hours on week days and beyond 14.00 hours on Sundays: Instructions were issued on 15.5.2014 wherein Zonal Railways were advised that subject to demand and availability of manpower, the PRS counters can be opened even beyond 20.00 hours on week days and beyond 14.00 hours on Sundays. This has facilitated the passengers in getting reserved tickets through PRS counters as per their convenience. 

Timings for Advance Reservation: Time limits for booking reserved tickets was increased to 120 days w.e.f. 01.04.2015. This has facilitated the passengers to plan their journey well in advance.

Change in Timings of Booking Through Internet: The timings of booking reserved tickets through internet have been changed and is now available daily from 00.30 hours to 23.45 hours.

Source: indianrailways.gov.in

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