The committee also recommended that the railways review the flexi/dynamic fare mechanism introduced to Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains
A parliamentary panel on railways has suggested to the national transporter to review its policy on issuing a second reservation chart prepared at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of a train.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Railways in its report said, “There was no logic in booking of tickets between the time of 30-5 minutes before the departure of the train when there are thousands of Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) or waitlisted tickets already booked and waiting for confirmation. In their opinion, there is no scope of getting these tickets confirmed.”
In the report titled 'Passenger Reservation System of Indian Railways', the panel said, “Since Tatkal facilities are available for passengers wishing to travel at a short notice, all seats of the train found vacant after preparation of the first reservation chart which are prepared 4-5 hours before the departure time should automatically be allotted to RAC/waitlisted passengers to facilitate them to travel as per their plan."
The panel headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh said that “the need for preparation of second reservation charts should be reviewed with a view to facilitating needy passengers and also to refrain the touts from being involved in the probable malpractice during the last-minute rush.”
The committee also recommended that the railways review the flexi/dynamic fare mechanism introduced to Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains and suggested a prudent decision of pricing of fares that are balanced and based on equal footing.
Since the fare of the premium trains is already high compared to mail and express trains, if further fares are increased in the name of flexi fare, passengers with modest income or the financially disadvantaged rail users may not opt for these trains, the panel said.
The panel also suggested regularly strengthening and upgrading the capacity of the IRCTC website/servers so as to make it more robust to handle greater traffic with minimal turnaround time.
The committee also suggested the railways put in place a mechanism in the coaches so that RAC passengers could know the current status of seat/berth confirmation without running behind Train Ticket Examinees. Passengers would also like to update information on a real-time basis for greater transparency in the allocation of vacant seats/berths onboard trains, the panel said.