In order to fill the vacant seats in trains, Indian Railways will soon offer a 25 percent discount on certain trains such as Shatabadi, Tejas, Double Decker, Gatiman and Intercity train having low occupancy. The discount will only be applicable in the trains consisting of AC chair car and executive chair car accommodation. This proposal aims at the filling of more vacant seats and to combat low air tickets and road transports.
A 25 percent discount will be applicable on the base fare. Other charges like reservation fee, superfast charge, and GST will be imposed separately. Along with these, catering will also be optional in discounted fare trains. As per the Ministry of Railways, trains with less than 50 percent occupancy in a month were eligible for the discount in previous years.
Railway Minister has released circular addressing the principal chief commercial managers of all zonal railways to introduce the discounted fare in trains. In the circular, the percentage of the discounted fare and to decide the route of train has been given to the principal chief commercial manager of zonal railways. Moreover, a guideline has also been released under which the trains and their routes will be selected.
For example, innumerable seats remain vacant in 12004 New Delhi Lucknow Jn Swarn Shatabdi Express running from Delhi between Kanpur to Lucknow. Likewise in train 12015 New Delhi Daurai (Ajmer) Shatabdi Express which runs from Delhi to Ajmer has numerous seats vacant between Jaipur and Ajmer.
Discounted fares will be applicable for the first leg of journey or last leg of journey or intermediate stations or end to end journey. Passengers will be able to avail it throughout the year or part of year or seasonal or on weekdays or weekends.
In the discounted fares train, graded discounts which are applicable in Shatabdi trains (10% discount after the first chart preparation and flexible fair) will not be allowed. Tickets on PTOs, concessional tickets are going to be issued on the existing fares only and not on the revised discounted fare. Additionally, Tatkal quota shall not be earmarked in trains or sections of journey with discounted fares. According to the circular issued by the Indian railways, Tatkal charges will not be imposed on the discounted fares.
Railway zones have been asked to find train with vacant seats by September 30, 2019. Also, they have been instructed to file a report on the comparative occupancy and earning after the first four months of the implementation of the scheme which is likely to take place by the end of this month. On the basis of the report, the decision to extend the scheme of the discounted fare will be taken.
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