In a reply given for the RTI (Right To Information) query, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said that over 65 lakh tickets for railways which were booking over the internet were automatically cancelled in the initial 8 months of this fiscal year i.e. April’19 to November’19.
This means that over 8 lakhs tickets ever month were cancelled automatically during this 8 month period.
These figures show exactly how under-powered the Indian Railways is, and the amount of passengers trying to use their services is so high and a huge problem. To tackle this problem, the government is now looking for PPP (Public Private Partnership), read on to know why!
Chandrasekhan Gaud, RTI Activist from Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh said that “Nearly 65,68,852 wait-listed tickets booked on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) portal automatically got cancelled after failing to get confirmed between April and November 2019 of this fiscal” according to the reply he received on 8th January 2020 from IRCTC.
Gaud said, as the waiting list tickets do not get confirmed at the time when chat is getting prepared for the trains, they automatically get cancelled. He added that, if the tickets is cancelled the fare amount gets refunded automatically.
Adding, Guad said he even requested for the information on the cancellation fees amount for the tickets on wait-list, but he did not get any reply.
However, he said that the amount that gets refunded to the customer is less, as there are cancellation fee that are charged by the railways before reverting the money to IRCTC. The amount gets credited into the customers’ account which was used to make the payment.
As IRCTC do not deduct the cancellation fees – it is deducted by the respective railways – the query “has been sent to the railways” he said.
The figure of tickets that gets cancelled ever month (over 8 lakh) is a direct indicator of the overflow of passenger that some trains face on pan India level.
The struggle being faced by the railways can also be evaluated by the fact the Piyush Goyal – Railway Minister – told reporters that demand, in some trains, was over that 150% of its capacity, last week. He said “The railways wants to attract an investment of ₹50 lakh crore in the next 12 years to expand the facilities in passenger and goods trains through modernisation”.
He continued be claiming “This big investment is impossible through the railway and government budgets. So, the way out is to work on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model”.