Emergency quota in Indian Railways: Have you ever heard of getting berths via emergency quota in Indian Railways? Wondering who can book railway accommodation under this quota? The Railway Ministry in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha has cleared any confusion in this regard. According to the Railway Ministry, the Emergency Quota in Indian Railways is provided to meet the urgent travel needs of High Official Requisition (HOR) holders, including ministers of Central government, Supreme Court judges, High Courts judges of various states, Members of Parliament and other emergent demands, who are on the waiting list. The national transporter has earmarked a limited number of berths as emergency quota in different trains and in different classes.
According to Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry, the emergency quota in Indian Railways is released by the national transporter in accordance with the priority as per warrant of precedence and well established practice being followed since long. During the allotment of berths or seats in railways, the emergency quota is first allotted for self travel of HOR holders including Members of Parliament, Supreme Court Judges, High Court Judges etc., strictly as per their inter-se seniority in warrant of precedence. Subsequently, other requisitions received by Indian Railways from various quarters are considered, and the remaining quota is released. However, as per the rules fixed by Indian Railways, the remaining quota is released taking into account multiple factors like status of passengers travelling, nature of urgency like travelling on government duty, sickness, bereavement in the family, job interview etc.
The Railway Ministry has stated that the emergency quota cells are situated at Zonal or Divisional Headquarters and at some of the important non-Headquarter stations. The emergency quota cells generally operate under the control of a gazetted officer who is supported by requisite number of staff posted by Zonal Railways.
In addition to emergency quota facility, Indian Railways also provide the facility of bulk booking. Under this facility, if the passenger wants to travel in a large group like marriage group, family, college friends or on behalf of his/her school, educational institute etc., then he/she can visit the ticket booking centre to book the train tickets. However, the facility of bulk booking on trains is not allowed online through the IRCTC website or the IRCTC app.