New Delhi: Under fire for its proposal to enforce a three-decade-old rule to penalise passengers for carrying excess baggage, the railways has now shelved the plan, saying it was only to generate awareness among travellers.
The national transporter had launched a six-day drive from June 1 to check for excess baggage but the decision to strictly enforce the rule to fine passengers up to six times the stipulated luggage weight had led to widespread criticism with people taking to social media to denounce the move.
According to railway ministry spokesperson Rajesh Bajpayee, the drive was merely to make people aware of how carrying excess luggage causes inconvenience to other travellers.
"It was felt that in the heavy summer rush, passengers carrying excess luggage cause much inconvenience to fellow passengers. Hence, a special education-cum-awareness drive was launched," he said.
The drive was meant to inform passengers about the provisions regarding free baggage allowance, the maximum luggage that can be carried and other provisions, Bajpayee said.
According to the prescribed norms, a sleeper class and a second class passenger can carry luggage weighing 40 kg and 35 kg respectively without paying any extra money, and a maximum of 80 kg and 70 kg respectively by paying for the excess luggage at the parcel office.
According to the rule, the excess luggage would have to be put in the luggage van. Similarly, an AC first class passenger can carry 70 kg of luggage for free and a maximum of 150 kg after paying a fee for the excess 80 kg.
An AC two-tier passenger can travel with 50 kg of luggage for free and another 50 kg by paying a fee while an AC 3-tier sleeper/AC chair car passenger can carry 40 kg of luggage for free and a maximum of 80 kg after paying a fee for the excess 40 kg.