The advance booking period for train tickets will be reduced from existing four months to two months from Wednesday as part of the Railways’ efforts to prevent touts to corner bulk tickets. “The reduction of advance reservation period to 60 days will be a deterrent for touts who book bulk tickets in advance. We hope the reduction of booking period will help genuine travellers,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.
However, all the bookings done up to April 30 under the existing advance reservation period (ARP) of 120 days will remain intact. In order to prevent touts from booking bulk tickets in advance, Railways have already increased the cancellation charges by Rs.10 to Rs.50 per ticket.
“It has been found that passengers generally book their tickets two months in advance before the journey,” the official said, adding “so the reduction of advance booking period from 120 days to 60 days will be beneficial for rail travellers.” Cancellation of the booking made beyond the ARP of 60 days will, however, be permitted. There will be no change in the case of ARP limit of 360 days for foreign tourists.
Stepping up its action on touts, Railways has also modified the Tatkal booking system to ensure that genuine passengers get train tickets. No agents are allowed to book tatkal tickets from 10 am to 12 pm over the internet.
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