Nearly 65.69 lakh railway tickets booked online got automatically cancelled as they failed to get confirmed in the first eight months of the current fiscal, reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed. This means that over eight lakh such tickets automatically got cancelled per month during that period.
These figures manifest the heavy rush of railway passengers and in order to tide over the problem, the government is looking for a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
"Nearly 65,68,852 wait-listed tickets booked on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) portal automatically got cancelled after failing to get confirmed between April and November 2019 of this fiscal," Neemuch district-based RTI activist Chandrashekhar Gaud told PTI as per the reply given by the IRCTC on January 8.
He said that after the wait-listed tickets fail to get confirmed, they automatically get cancelled during the chart preparation of the trains and the amount of the ticket gets credited to the account of the passengers automatically. Gaud said he had also sought the information about the cancellation fee amount of the waitlist tickets, but did not get it.
After deducting the cancellation fee, the railways reverts the money to the IRCTC, which in turn credits the amount into the customers' account through which the payment for the purchase of ticket was made, he said.
"The IRCTC replied that since it does not deduct the cancellation fee, it has sent my query pertaining to it to the railways," he added. The figures reveal that railways is struggling to cope with the rush of passengers in some trains across India.
This could be gauged from the fact that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here last week that the demand of ticket-seekers in some trains was more than 150 per cent.
"The railways wants to attract an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in the next 12 years to expand the facilities in passenger and goods trains through modernisation," he had said.
"This big investment is impossible through the railway and government budgets. So, the way out is to work on a public-private partnership (PPP) model," he added.
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