Upgraded passenger scheme need a relook

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First of all, I want to inform my readers that I am writing this article by seating inside a long distance train. I am on my way to my native place Allahabad. Even though I belong from Uttar Pradesh, but Mumbai has given me a lot and will always give. However, I am visiting my native place for attending some religious function and rituals.

I will be covering a distance of 1300 km to reach my home town. Today I came across strange rules of railways, which is beneficial for some commuters but headache for others. When the upgraded passenger scheme were introduced by the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad it proved to be a boon for commuters but today passengers are facing huge hardships on account of it.

Since we always travel in trains, so most of us might be aware about the reservation rules. However, I will like to explain about the rules which would benefit those passengers who are unaware about it. If any seats remain vacant in the higher classes, passengers are allowed to travel from lower class to higher class without paying any extra charges.

It is good to opt for immediate higher class, but when sleeper class passengers travel with their family upgrade to first AC coach, then consider the decorum of that coach. People select the coaches according to their class while undertaking a train journey. I’m not criticising the class upgrading system but passengers tickets must be upgraded only to the immediate higher class. For example, if a passenger has reserved a Sleeper class ticket then his reservation must be upgraded to 3rd AC, and if he is 3rd AC passenger then offer him a 2nd AC berth and so on. However, if you upgrade sleeper class passenger to 1st AC coach then the one who has paid for the higher class, will feel cheated and the decorum of the compartment too will be affected. I request the railways to look into this matter at the earliest.

One of my relatives, who stay near by my house was also travelling along with me. He had done reservation in 3rd AC compartment. He asked me to check his reservation status. He provided me his coach number but failed to provide his berth number. When I reached in front of his coach and searched his name in the chart pasted near the door it remained untraceable. I called him and inquired the PNR number once again from him. He provided me the berth number as I once again searched his name in the chart but proved futile this time too. I then asked him to reach the platform. He then produced his ticket to me. After watching the ticket I noticed that the coach no, berth no printed on his ticket was available in the chart but his name was missing. Then, I scroll down my eyes and later noticed his name printed in the upgradation list displayed at the end of the chart. His reservation was upgraded to 2nd AC. I informed him about the status of his ticket and asked him to shift his luggage to the upgraded coach. Thank god, he was travelling alone with minimum luggage. At the time of reservation, we are providing several information like our mobile number, age, name and address to the IRCTC. However, if a commuter’s ticket has been upgraded to higher class he doesn’t get an alert about it from the railways. The railway needs to provide better services instead of merely increasing reservation charges.