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Blog Entry# 3470533
Posted: May 31 2018 (07:15)

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May 31 2018 (07:15)   Passengers loss is railways gain

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Entry# 3470533   News Entry# 338997         Tags   Past Edits
Railways has earned a whopping Rs 2,670 crore in the past two years, through cancellation of train tickets. This includes Rs 314.94 crore earnings of Southern Railway, whose jurisdiction spreads over Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Even as the Civil Aviation Ministry is planning to allow air passengers to cancel flight tickets without any charges within 24 hours, higher cancellation charges of the railways has left passengers fuming.
According to documents on earnings, (a copy of which is available with Express), Indian Railways earned Rs 1,357 crore between April 2017 and March 2018, while
the previous year’s earnings was Rs 1,303 crore. Similarly, Southern Railway’s earnings stood at Rs 171.27 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 170.67 crore during the corresponding period the preceeding year. Railways’ earnings through ticket cancellation increased substantially after it raised the cancellation fee in November 2015.
For cancelling confirmed tickets even within one or two days after booking, passengers are penalised with hefty charges, lament passengers.
“I have booked two tickets from Chennai to Thanjavur in Uzhavan Expresss for travel by second week of July. Due to unavoidable circumstances, I changed my plans and cancelled the ticket the next day. While the ticket cost was Rs 450 (Rs 225 a ticket), I have got only Rs 210 back. More than 50 per cent of fare had been deducted,” rued S Ramakrishnan, a native of Thanjavur, who is also a rail enthusiast.
Railway charges Rs 120 for cancelling sleeper class tickets, while Rs 180 is charged for 3rd AC class. Cancellation of 2nd AC and First AC class tickets cost Rs 200 and Rs 240 a ticket respectively. Railways also collects Rs 60 for cancelling waitlisted tickets.
Though railways claimed that higher cancellation fee prevented malpractices in booking, and facilitated genuine rail passengers to get tickets, regular passengers questioned the rationale behind the move in States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as there is a huge demand for tickets throughout the year.
S Mohanram, president, Consumer Protection Council, Thiruninravur and a former member of Zonal Rail Users Consultative Committee demanded that passengers be allowed to cancel tickets without charges or with lesser charge within two to three days after booking.
When contacted, Southern Railway Principal Chief Commercial Manager, Priyamvada Viswanathan told Express that cancellation charge is inevitable to run the railway system.
“Unlike other transporters, railways cannot cancel trains when trains have less occupancy. Even if the trains are operated with 100 per cent occupancy throughout the year, railways can recover only up to 60 per cent of operational cost,” she said.

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