Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced a new rule for ticket booking. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some changes were made to the rules to follow the protocol.
IRCTC has now decided that the second reservation chart will be prepared 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains. For the last few months, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the second chart was prepared two hours in advance in order to notify the passengers who had booked the berth in a train.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, IRCTC used to release the first chart four hours before the departure of the train. For booking of the remaining seats, travellers could approach passenger reservation system (PRS) counters even 30 minutes before the train’s departure. They could also book the seats online before the preparation of the second reservation chart. The seats were allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The decision of preparing the second reservation chart 30 minutes before the departure of the trains has been taken after zonal railways requested for the same. This has been done for the convenience of passengers.
Indian Railways in a statement said that the second reservation charts were prepared 30 minutes to 5 minutes before the departure of the train. As per the provisions of refund, it was permitted to cancel booked tickets during this period. This provided relief to the passengers travelling through trains because they could cancel tickets and get refund even if the plan changes at the last minute.
The necessary changes were issued to the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) in order to restore the new provisions in the software, effective from October 10, said the Railway Ministry.
IRCTC e-booking rules have remained the same. As per a railway official, passengers are supposed to arrive at the railway station an hour or two before the departure of the train.
If you would like to book a ticket from IRCTC, you need to follow these steps:
· Visit the website at irctc.co.in/nget/train-search
· Fill your source and destination stations
· Select journey date and class of coach
· Click on ‘Find Trains’ option
· A number of options will appear
· Choose the train that suits your requirement
· Click on ‘Availability and Fare’
· The berth fare of the particular train along with the number of available seats on a particular date will be displayed
· Click on ‘Book Now’ if there are seats available
· At this stage, you will be asked to log in to your IRCTC account
· Enter your credentials to login
· Fill in the details of passenger(s) to book the seats
· Pay the fare of the seat(s) to finalise your booking