The Indian Railways earned over Rs 9,000 crore from ticket cancellation charges and non-cancellation of wait-listed tickets between 2017 and 2020, the national transporter has said in response to an RTI application. The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), in response to the RTI application filed by Kota-based activist Sujeet Swami, said that in the three-year period from January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2020, there were over nine-and-a-half crore passengers whose wait-listed tickets were not cancelled. Such passengers brought the Indian Railways revenue of over Rs 4,335 crore.
In the same period, the railways earned over Rs 4,684 crore from cancellation fees of confirmed tickets. In both segments, earning was maximum from sleeper class tickets, followed by Third AC travellers, the RTI response revealed. There is also a huge difference in the number of people buying railway tickets through the Internet and those from counters. In the three-year period, over 145 crore passengers purchased tickets through the Internet, while over 74 crore people went to railway counters.
Activist Swami has filed a plea in the Rajasthan High Court, alleging that the reservation policy of Indian Railways is discriminatory. He said the difference in policies for online and counter reservation brings unnecessary financial and mental burden upon the passengers and it should be discontinued to give relief to passengers and to stop unfair revenue generation by the railways.