In a bid to optimise utilisation of accommodation in trains, the Union Railways Ministry on Saturday announced the introduction of a discounted fare scheme in AC sitting trains.

“With a view to optimise utilisation of accommodation in trains, the Ministry of Railways has decided to delegate powers to Zonal Railways to introduce discounted fare scheme in trains with AC sitting accommodation, subject to terms and conditions,” a statement from the government said.

The statement said that the discounted fare scheme will be applicable in AC Chair Car and Executive classes of all trains having AC sitting accommodation, including the Anubhuti and Vistadome coaches.

It also said that the element of discount shall be upto maximum 25 per cent on the basic fare, whereas other charges like reservation charge, super fast surcharge, GST, etc., as applicable,  will be levied separately.

“The discount may be provided in any or all the classes on the basis of occupancy.”

The Ministry said that the train having classes with occupancy less than 50 per cent — either end to end or in some specified legs or sections depending upon the sections where discount is to be provided — during the last 30 days shall be taken into consideration.

“The fares of competitive mode of transport shall be the criteria while deciding quantum of discount.”

The discount can be given for the first and or last leg of the journey and or intermediate sections and or end-to-end journey provided the occupancy is less than 50 per cent in that leg or section or end-to-end.

It also said that in case of those trains where flexi fare scheme is applicable in a particular class and the occupancy is poor, flexi fare scheme may be withdrawn initially as a measure to increase the occupancy.

“In case this does not result in improved occupancy, only then discount scheme may be made applicable in those trains or classes,” the Railwayd Ministry said.

“The discount shall be implemented with immediate effect. However, no refund of fare shall be admissible for already booked passengers.”

This scheme will not be applicable on special trains introduced as holiday or festival specials.

Tatkal quota will not be earmarked in such trains for the decided period in case the discount is provided on end to end basis.

The provision of this scheme shall be applicable upto a period of a year, the Ministry added.

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