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Premium tatkal tickets to be dearer in three trains

The people from southern districts have to shell out extra fare from May 1 as the premium tatkal fare is set to be introduced by Southern Railway in three trains running from Chennai.

Premium tatkal tickets to be dearer in three trains
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Madurai

The premium tatkal scheme was introduced by the Railways with a dynamic fare pricing concept whereby the rate of the tickets would increase based on the demand. It was introduced to boost revenue and make tickets available for all. 

However, since the scheme was introduced, it has only met with lots of criticism from the passengers as they allege that this is another step towards corporatisation of Railways, which is slowly introducing the scheme for all the trains. 

As far as trains running in southern districts are concerned, the scheme had been introduced in Pandian Super Fast Express and Podhigai Super Fast Express. Now, the Southern Railways has extended the scheme to three more trains. 

From May 1, the premium tatkal scheme is going to be extended to Pearl City Super Fast Express, from Thoothukudi to Chennai, Nellai Super Fast Express, from Tirunelveli to Chennai, and Kanniyakumari Super Fast Express, from Kanniyakumari to Chennai. 

For tatkal, 30 per cent of the tickets per train is allotted and in that, half of the tickets would be allotted under premium tatkal scheme, meaning that 15 per cent of the tickets would be sold at a higher price based on the demands. This would greatly affect those in the southern districts visiting Chennai on a daily basis, a member of the Railway Passengers Association said. 

Brahmanayagam, Secretary, Thoothukudi District Railway Users Association, claimed that daily, at least 200 passengers in a single train need to pay extra through the premier tatkal scheme. Over 140 tickets in second class sleeper class and 60 in A/C class would be brought under premium tatkal scheme. Going by the count, at least 1,000 passengers would be affected on a daily basis. 

“Railways are more keen on generating revenue rather than developing facilities at railway stations. In Thoothukudi railway station, there are no basic amenities like food stalls and a passenger has to go outside for a bottle of water. Apart from that, parking charges have increased. The Railways is slowly turning into a private sector,” Brahmanayagam said. 

An official of the Madurai division of Southern Railway said that the premium tatkal scheme is a policy decision of the Railways and has nothing to do with the scheme. However, the scheme has been introduced only in Super Fast trains and not in Express trains. 

Kanniyakumari Express is one of the premium trains which runs at an average speed of around 70 km per hour without any signal issue and for such trains the premium tatkal scheme has been introduced. For trains like Chendur Express, such schemes would not be feasible as they travel long distances using alternative routes, the official added.

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