New Delhi: Indian Railways passengers will now be able to avoid hefty fines on carrying excess baggage as the transport behemoth plans to offer an online service for bookings. The service will be launched by the end of this year on the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, ThePrint has learnt.
The move comes as the Railways intensifies its implementation of a 13-year-old circular that had laid restrictions on carrying luggage over the free allowance limit.
According to the circular dusted out in June this year, passengers carrying luggage exceeding free allowance — defined according to the class on a per person basis — will be fined a penalty of six times the luggage rate.
In August, the Railways penalised as many as 20,798 people for carrying unbooked luggage, collecting Rs 23.15 lakh in fines.
Once the new service kicks in, passengers will be able to book the excess luggage and pay online.
“No more hassles running around on the railway station and from one platform to another, along with the luggage to go to the parcel office and reach the railway station, three hours prior to arrival of the respective train,” a senior official at the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), who did not wish to be named, told ThePrint.
CRIS is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Railways and maintains all information systems of the Railways. It is currently working on updating the IRCTC website to include the option for booking excess luggage.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
“The provision of booking the excess luggage in a train on the IRCTC website is ready but some business rules have to be cleared by the Railway Board. We are expecting that the process will be over before the year ends,” said the CRIS official.
The new option, however, will provide the passenger to book the excess luggage on the basis of ‘self declaration’.
How the new option will work
The provision of booking excess luggage will be available to all passengers booking e-tickets via the IRCTC website.
Once the passenger chooses to book excess luggage, the computerised passenger reservation system will calculate the fare according to slabs for types of trains, distance and coaches.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.