NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel on railways has recommended the concerned ministry to review the flexi or dynamic fare mechanism in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains, flagging that such pricing appears to be somewhat discriminatory.
It has also recommended the railways to revisit its policy of issuing a second reservation chart between the time frame of 30 minutes and 5 minutes before a particular train departs.
The report on the “Passenger Reservation System (PRS)” was tabled in both the houses of the Parliament on Tuesday.
The panel, headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh, has observed that the fares in the premium trains are already higher as compared to other mail and express trains and are almost at par, and at some instances, higher than those of budget airlines.
It said with an enhanced fare structure in place for these trains, passengers with modest income or the financially disadvantaged rail users may not be able to afford these fares and may not opt for these trains. It has recommended the ministry to take a prudent decision of pricing of fares, which are balanced and based on equal footing.
On the issue of wait-listed tickets, the committee said the passengers can book tickets 120 days prior to the date of scheduled journey and the accommodation through the PRS is allotted on the first-come-first-serve basis. Thereafter, reservation against cancellation (RAC) and wait-listed tickets are issued. The status of RAC tickets gets updated automatically against cancellation of confirmed tickets.
However, taking note of the provision to book tickets after the first chart gets prepared, the panel said it found no logic in booking of tickets between the time frame of 30 minutes and 5 minutes before the departure of the train, when there are thousands of RAC and waitlisted tickets already booked and waiting for confirmation.
“The committee, therefore, is of the opinion that 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 — prepared 4-5 hours before the departure time — should automatically be allotted to RAC and wait-listed passengers,” it has recommended.

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