Commuters express disappointment over new refund rules

A day after the Ministry of Railways announced changes in ticket refund rules from July 1, commuters have asked authorities not to implement the new norms that were against the interest of travellers.

T Ravi Kumar, president, All India Train and Bus Passengers Association said the Railways should not have extended the time limit to deduct cancellation charges from 24 hours to 48 hours.

As part of the new refund rules, `60 would be deducted in the event of sleeper class tickets being cancelled within 48 hours of departure.

Starting next month, a minimum cancellation charge will be deducted per passenger at the flat rate of `120 for air-conditioned first class/executive class, `100 for air-conditioned-II tier/first class, `90 for air-conditioned III-tier/3 economy/air-conditioned chair car and `30 for second class.

“Such amendments in the refund rules would hassle the passengers. The proposed amendments would benefit only the Railways and not the public,” he added.

According to railway sources, 25,000 booked tickets with around 80,000 passengers are cancelled within the limits of Southern Railway every day. Southern Railway comprises of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.

The Railways has also announced that no refund shall be admissible for RAC e-tickets in case the request is filed online three hours after the actual departure of the train. Besides, no refund of fare shall be admissible on confirmed tatkal tickets.

Pointing out that passengers were facing troubles in cancelling their tickets after 8.00 pm at Central and Egmore railway stations, S Mohan Ram, member, Divisional Railway User’s Consultative Committee, Chennai Division said more time should have been given for passengers to cancel their tickets for availing refund.

Counters for cancelling tickets must function for extra hours at major railway stations for the benefit of the commuters, he added.