Mittal Committee may want Railways to halve ‘Emergency Quota’ tickets

नई दिल्ली New Delhi:  Train ticket bookings by emergency quota may be halved and get costlier, if the Railway Ministry were to go by the recommendations of committee headed by DK Mittal.

The committee has recommended halving of berths that are allocated by the emergency quota, said an official in the know. It has also said that people booking tickets through emergency quota should be asked to pay higher charges as is applicable on tickets booked through Tatkal route, it is learnt.

However, there was no confirmation about it from the Railway Ministry. While one official told that there are strong rumours to lower the tickets booked by emergency quota, another top official said that no such decision has been yet been taken.

Some 60,000 seats are reserved for allocation through emergency quota, though the actual usage varies.

This is not just the committee thought. Recently, Make Railways Better – a group of 75,000 people from an online platform Local Circles – also called for setting up of a transparent system for allocating seats through emergency quota and VIP seat allocation.

The group had said that guidelines need to be issued defining an emergency and a VIP. “Emergency quota should be cut down by 75 per cent to 15,000 seats a day,”.  It had also called for implementation of optimisation system so that VIP routes have more seats. A citizen should be able to call an Emergency Travel Helpline, upload necessary document and get access to an emergency seat after validation, it said. The citizen group further said that only VIPs and Railway officials should have access to this quota for themselves and for official journeys only.

Families of VIPs and Railways officials could travel based on seat availability but after purchasing the ticket (or book as any other citizen), added Local Circles.

Additionally, it has said that usage of the VIP quota should be limited to a certain number of times and records should be maintained of which VIP is using how many seats and how many times.