Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees can now travel for free in executive class in any train for life
Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees can now travel for free in executive class in any train for life, giving them travel benefits at par with the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra, according to the railways.
As per a 2014 policy, the Railways Ministry provides free travel passes for 1st AC Class/Executive Class to Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees.
However, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awardees, and widows of posthumous gallantry awardees are entitled to lifelong free rail travel in 1st AC Class/2nd AC Class along with one companion over the entire railways network except the Metro Railway, Kolkata.
The decision to raise the entitlements of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees was made in August and a letter was issued on October 13 by the railway board to all zonal railways for necessary action to be taken in this regard.
“Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees will now onwards be entitled to the same free rail travel facilities as admissible to the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees”, the letter stated.
With the free rail pass, recipients of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra will now be able to travel free of cost with a companion in not only the existing 1st AC coaches but also executive class on all trains including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.
The executive class is the railways’ version of business class in an aircraft, and is only found on Shatabdi Express trains, Tejas Express and a few Duronto Express trains. Fares of the Shatabdi Express executive class are generally double the normal AC chair car fares.