A huge relief comes in the direction of the railway passengers. The Ministry of Railways vide Commercial Circular No. 6 of 2019 has issued a provision of linking of PNR numbers for two connecting journeys. PNR number is a unique identifier to point to the passenger record in the railway database.
Owing to the The Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Ticket and Refund of Fare) Rules, 2015, there exists a rule 13(3), which states as under:
(3) Where a passenger holding a ticket, with or without reservation, misses connection for continued journey by another train at any junction station owing to late running of the train by which he had been travelling, the fare for travelled portion shall be retained and the balance amount of ticket shall be refunded as the fare for untravelled portion, without levying any cancellation charge or clerkage, if he surrenders the ticket for such refund within three hours of the actual arrival of the train by which he had travelled and the refund shall be granted at the junction station.
This provision seeks to grant relief to those passengers who have been unable to commence with their journey due to reasons arising out of mismanagement and fault of the railways, leading to no liability of their own. If a passenger cannot board a connecting train due to a delay of the prior train’s departure, he shall be refunded in full without any cancellation or clerkage charge, the amount levied on the part of the journey which he hasn’t undertaken, as long as he surrenders the ticket within three hours of the actual arrival of the train in which he had travelled.
However, as fair and appropriate this provision is, there are a lot of problems faced in the actual implementation. This is due to the fact that the two journeys have separate PNR numbers.
Aiming to rectify this default, the circular states, “Instances have occurred where due to non linkage of two PNRs for connecting journey, problems are faced by Railway Passengers for cancellation of tickets in case of misconnection of train due to late running of the first train”. It further continues, “In passengers interest, it has now been decided to allow linkage of two PNRs for connecting journey of both e-ticket and PRS counter tickets or combination of both, without giving any telescopic benefit. Hence facilitating rail passengers in case of misconnection of train due to late running of first train applicability of rule mentioned above”.
The notification allows the option of a refund across the counter at the changeover destination, along with the option of filing a TDR online, depending upon the method of ticket booking.
This scheme shall be implemented with effect from 1st April, 2019.
Citizens can rejoice as the Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal takes another step to streamline the railways for the welfare of the passengers.
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