What are the tatkal tickets?
Tatkal tickets are the ones whose booking starts "one day in advance (reduced from 2 days) excluding the day of journey e.g. for a journey on 3rd, bookings open at 10 a.m on 2nd. However, the day of journey is defined as the day of chart preparation."
Railways dole out the 'Premium Tatkal'
- On 1 October 2014, Indian Railways introduced a new booking system called the Premium Tatkal.
- Under this provision "half of the tickets" on certain trains will be 'dynamically priced.'
- However, these tickets could only be purchased online and were introduced for some 80 trains to begin with.
- The rules of procurement were the same as for general tatkal tickets.
Parliamentary panel reprimands Railways dynamic pricing
- A parliamentary panel came down heavily on the Railways for introducing dynamic prices and recommended decreasing the premium on tatkal tickets to a "minimum essential level" as the present system was "legitimising inequality".
- The committee asked the Railway Ministry to "institutionalise the concerns of the poor".
- The panel suggested that tatkal reservation percentage should be reduced so more people could get access.
Railways introduces revised tatkal timing and 50% refund
- Railways announced a change in the timing for the booking of Tatkal tickets and declared that travellers can get a refund of 50% on cancellation.
- According to the new schedule, the Tatkal booking for AC classes will start at 10 a.m. and close at 11 a.m.
- Railways also announced plans to launch its 'Tatkal Special' train service which will be costlier than general trains.
Government hikes tatkal booking charges by 33%
- The government announced a 33% hike on the booking charges for railway's tatkal tickets.
- The Indian Railways has raised the tatkal booking prices for travel in "sleeper class, AC-III tier, AC-II tier and executive class", the second class remained unaffected.
- The hike will come into effect from 25 December.
- The announcement came immediately after the conclusion of Parliament's winter session.
Out with the old, in with the hiked
- After the new hike, the minimum tatkal charges for sleeper class were raised to ₹100 and the maximum to ₹200.
- The AC compartments were worse hit, with the minimum charge rising from ₹250 to ₹300 while the maximum charges going up to ₹400.
- Those travelling executive will now have to shell out ₹400 instead of ₹300 as the minimum and ₹500 as maximum cost.