The New ‘Vikalp’ Scheme Yojana for Waitlisted Passengers in the Festival Rush List Routes and charges
In an attempt to find a solution to the problem of festival rush in trains, the Indian Railways has announced a new scheme called ‘Vikalp’ Yojana, which will enable the passengers who are on waitlist, to choose a confirmed berth in alternate trains, traveling on the same course.
The scheme will be launched on November 1, 2015, as a six months pilot test for the Northern Railways. The scheme will only be available for the trains going on Delhi to Lucknow and Delhi to Jammu routes. For the moment, the scheme is also only available to those who are booking their tickets using the online platform. The Railway Ministry says that the scheme will be made available on the passenger reservation counters and other segments, on the basis of the feedback they get on this pilot project.
List of Routes Under Vikalp Scheme
As per the new scheme, the passengers have to opt for the Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme online, in their reservations. If their reservation status remains in the waiting list after the preparation of the final chart, they will be considered for the allocation of the berth in an alternative train.
The Railways further says that there will be no additional charges for the allotment on the alternative train. Also, if there is any difference in the fare of the trains, it will not be refunded to the passenger.
The status of the berth allocation in the alternative train will be communicated to the passenger through SMS. The passenger can also confirm the status by dialing 139 or checking on the enquiry counter.
Further, as per the ‘Vikalp’ scheme, either all of the passengers of a PNR or none will be allocated berths in the alternative train.
The Railways has also clarified that just opting for the ‘Vikalp’ scheme, does not ensure a guaranteed berth in the alternative train. The berth will only be allocated if there is availability of seats of the same class in the alternative train. Also, the time in which the allotment of seat in the alternative train will be made is twelve hours, starting from the scheduled time at which the original train is supposed to be departed.
As of now, the scheme is only available on the Mail and Express trains travelling on the same route. Once the passenger is allocated a berth in the alternative train, they will not be allowed to travel in the original train.
The scheme is to allow the passengers to have a hassle free travelling during the rush time of the festivals and also to optimize the utilization of the accommodation that is available.