New Delhi: Railways has decided to introduce the Tatkal scheme in many passenger trains to help travellers avail the emergency reservation facility.
Till now, Tatkal booking is available for Mail and Express trains including premier services like Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi. Tatkal reservation can be made in all reserved classes except AC first class.
However, Railways has made it clear that the scheme will be made applicable to only those passenger trains which had more than 60 percent occupancy in the last financial year.
It has been left to zonal railways to identify the passenger trains for the Tatkal scheme, a senior Railway Ministry official said.
The official further said the Tatkal scheme can be extended in passenger trains like Bhopal-Indore passenger, Howrah-Chakradhar passenger, Agartala-Dharamnagar and Rajkot-Verival passenger service.
Tatkal scheme is applicable in AC second, AC third, Sleeper, AC Executive and AC Chair Car berths.
The Tatkal scheme was introduced in 1997 with a view to provide reservation to those passengers who have to undertake journey at short notice and to save such passengers from the clutches of unscrupulous elements.
The official said there are certain passenger trains which have reservation classes like sleeper and AC classes and passengers can avail the scheme in those trains. The scheme will also be applicable for second class (sitting) in passenger trains.
The cash-strapped Railways is exploring various options to earn additional revenue to tide over the financial crisis. Currently the cross-subsidy for passenger sector from freight is about Rs 26,000 crore in a year.
Besides passenger trains, Railways is mulling to introduce Tatkal scheme in AC first class also.
Tatkal charges have been fixed at 10 percent of the basic fare for second class and 30 percent of the basic fare for other classes.
For second class (sitting), the Tatkal rate ranges between Rs 10 and Rs 15.