Non availability of MPLS-VPN link for PRS at Kalimpong leads to loss of quota permanently

Kalimpong: The Northeast Frontier Railways has started withdrawing the manual train ticket quota allotted to Kalimpong citing computerised passenger reservation system at Durpin near here from where tickets for trains running across the country can be booked.

Although the computerised counter at Durpin, 3km from here, has been in existence for many years, the NFR had been running a manual ticketing system here. Kalimpong had been allotted a quota for booking one-way tickets for some trains.

“This is a policy decision of the railway board. We will keep manual quota where there is no PRS,” said S. Sengupta, senior commercial manager, NFR. He said the quota would be withdrawn in phases and the process would soon be over. Kalimpong’s manual counter is authorised to sell tickets for 24 trains that originate from or pass through New Jalpaiguri. A quota of seats is fixed for each train. “People can buy tickets of any train in any part of the country through computerised counters. Passengers can also buy return tickets, which they cannot do from manual counters,” Sengupta said.

Kalimpong’s quota for Darjeeling Mail that runs between NJP and Sealdah daily is 22 — 16 seats in sleeper class, four in three tier AC and two in two tier AC. Following the decision to phase out the quota, the quota of six AC seats on the train has been withdrawn. The quota of four AC seats in the Rajdhani Mail has also been done away with.

The railways have manual ticket counters at Mirik and Bijanbari in Darjeeling and Jorethang in Sikkim and they have been outsourced to private agencies. In Kalimpong, the NFR directly runs the counter.

Sengupta said the quota for these places had not been withdrawn since there were no computerised counters in the region. He added that although Kalimpong had a computerised counter at Durpin, the railways could set up a second one depending on the demand.

RailTel Corporation of India Limited (a Telecom PSU under Ministry of Railways) is the MPSL-VPN Service Provider for the Indian Railways Passenger Reservation System owned by CRIS.