In a welcome move, the Indian Railways has decided to withdraw with the service charge of Rs 30 that was applicable on transactions against credit and debit cards for purchasing journey tickets at reservation counters at railway stations. In a circular sent by Vikram Singh, Director Passenger Marketing, Railway Board, it has been directed that the decision would be implemented for tickets to be booked on or after June 1.
“In major stations across the country, we have an exclusive counter set for passengers who purchase tickets using credit or debit cards. Though passengers who use debit or credit cards have increasingly turned to IRCTC website for reserving tickets, there are still a section of people who come to credit/debit card counter at stations,” said a senior officer from the Thiruvananthapuram railway division. The division has two counters each at Thiruvananthapuram Central and Ernakulam Junction.
Railways introduced credit/debit card counters at stations following wide usage of plastic money among urban passengers.
Passengers, at the same time, welcomed the decision. “It is also requested to the railways to withdraw or bring down the service charge levied for online reservation. It is to be noted that Railway does not have any stationery or workforce expense, when we purchase tickets through IRCTC website. If the service charge for online ticket reservation is also withdrawn, more people will start availing the online service. Thus railways can bring down counter-running expenses furthermore,” said P Krishnakumar, general secretary, Thrissur railway passengers’ association (TRPA).
In a related development, the railways announced that tickets booked in reservation counters could be cancelled online through IRCTC website or ‘139’ facility up to 30 minutes before the departure of the train. However, the refund would have to be collected within a prescribed time limit at the counters.