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Didn’t cancel your IRCTC waitlisted train ticket? Indian Railways has earned crores from passengers who forget to cancel their waitlisted tickets! Indian Railways has earned over Rs 9,000 crore from ticket cancellation charges and non-cancellation of waitlisted tickets in the last three years, PTI reported, citing an RTI reply. The over Rs 9,000 crore earnings were recorded between 2017 to 2020, according to the response to an RTI application filed by activist Sujeet Swami.
The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), in its response to the RTI application, said that the national carrier had earned a whopping Rs 4,335 crore in the period between January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2020 from over 9.5 crore passengers who had not canceled their waitlisted tickets. The national transporter also earned Rs 4,684 crore from the passengers who canceled their confirmed train tickets. As a standard practice, Indian Railways charges passengers cancellation fee for confirmed tickets, implying that the full amount of the ticket is not refunded. The response to the RTI further revealed that the major source of earnings for both segments was from passengers who had booked sleeper class and Third AC tickets.
The response further said that there is a definitive surge in the booking of IRCTC train tickets via online mode. In the same time period from January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2020, a total of 145 crore passengers had booked their tickets online whereas 74 crore people had taken the older method of booking through Indian Railways reservation counters.
Kota-based activist Swami filed a plea in the Rajasthan High Court, in which he laid the blame on Indian Railways and called its reservation policy ‘discriminatory.’ According to Swami, the ‘gaps’ in the reservation and refund policies for online and counter reservation put passengers under the ‘unnecessary’ burden. Swami felt that this was leading to ‘unfair revenue generation’ for Indian Railways.