Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has resumed service charges which was banned earlier for two years. With this decision by the IRCTC, online tickets booking price has been increased.Travellers now have to pay Rs 18 per sleeper ticket booking and Rs 40 per AC ticket booking, including first-class after re-imposing service charges that were dropped two years ago.
A South Central Railway official said that around 10 percent of passengers were diverted from online bookings to counter bookings as IRCTC service charges resumed after two years on online booking. Demand for online ticket bookings has increased as service charges have been cancelled during demonetization to encourage digital payments, and at that point of time, all categories of travellers have shown interest in buying tickets online.
People from Greater Hyderabad who stayed far away from major booking centers in Hyderabad had booked their tickets online without having to resort to agents. This was a major advantage as approximately 2.5 lakh passengers travel to various parts of the country on South Central Railway Trains. On the other hand, the digitization of the railways also gave a boost to online ticket booking. However, passengers have been disappointed by the recent re-imposition of service charges by IRCTC.
The other issues were that the Railway Reservation office employees will be present at the counter from 8 am to 8 pm to issue tickets to the passengers, but on Sundays Reservation office employees will only available until 2 PM.
There is no online IRCTC booking facility between 11:45 pm to 12:15 pm, i.e for 30 minutes.
Railway passengers now want the Railways to permanently waive the service charges imposed on online bookings which are convenient for all categories of people.
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