Effective from Monday, Indian Railways (IR) has revised the timings of Tatkal booking, and keeping in demand the booking for AC class berths will begin from 10 am and close at 11 AM and after the non-
ac booking will begin, both one day before the journey date.
In a statement, the Railways said, “w.e.f. 15.06.2015, timings for booking of Tatkal tickets will be staggered for AC & non-AC classes to 1000 hours onwards and 1100 hours onwards respectively.”
Earlier, the reseration for both used to begin at 10 AM but now it will be deferred by an hour for non-AC berths. Now, the agents of IRCTC cannot book tickets for the first 30 minutes after opening the counter.
“All types of ticketing agents will now be debarred from booking tickets during the first thirty minutes of opening of booking i.e. from 0800 to 0830 hours for general bookings, and from 1000 to 1030 hours & 1100 to 1130 hours for Tatkal booking in AC & non-AC classes respectively,” the statement said.
However, the Indian Railways did not announce the much-expected decision on refund of money for cancellation of Tatkal tickets, which is a huge money churner for the Railways.
When this policy was introduced in 1988, the railways cited agents overbooking in advance and selling them at premium later and hence denying refund. Now that the agents are barred for the first 30 minutes and travellers are the primary buyers, the move to reverse it is there but only half the money.
An official said, “We are considering to refund certain percentage. We will have a time frame and if a passenger cancels (a tatkal ticket) within the time frame, he will be refunded accordingly.”
Currently, Tatkal reservation tickets do not have any policy to refund the money whether the tickets are confirmed or in waiting list, which are given seats instead of berths.