No extra charges for outstation reservation tickets
Tamil Nadu unit of Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat is setting new milestones in its fight against the injustices being meted out to consumers even by the government agencies. The Panchayat fought successfully against the undue extra charges being charged by the Indian Railways on outstation reservation tickets. It took about two years for the Panchayat to force the Railways to withdraw the charges. Finally, the Railways withdrew it from May 1, 2013.
Minister of State for Railways Shri Mukul Ray, through a memorandum dated June 20, 2011, was requested to withdraw the extra charges on outstation reservation booking tickets from passengers buying ticket from across the railway counter. At that time the railways was charging Rs 10 (for sleeper class) and Rs 20 (for higher classes) in addition to the normal ticket fare when the passengers book a ticket at railway reservation counters for outstation onward journey as well as return journey. In response to this memorandum, the Secretary of Railway Board through his letter dated June 30, 2011, had informed that the extra charges was imposed to recover the additional expenditures involved in maintenance and continuous up gradation of the network system and to generate additional resources for setting up of new PRS and non-rail head PRS centres at distant locations. Since the reply quoted in this letter was unjustified the Grahak Panchayat took up the matter. Finally the Railways withdrew the charges.
It was on the initiative of the Grahak Panchayat that a new super fast express train from Chennai Egmore to Salem via Villupuram and Vriddhachalam was flagged off by Minister of State for Railways R Velu on August 8, 2008. The Grahak Panchayat also submitted a memorandum to GM, Southern Railways on February 2, 2011and follow up memorandum on April 4, 2011 to restore the Chennai-Truchi-Kumbakonam Rockfort Express to its original route of Truchi-Chennai for the convenience of the commuters, since there is only one day train service to Trichy. The Railway Board finally notified the same. Similarly, the Grahak Panchayat got the undue sleeper charges withdrawn from the passengers of Tiruchi Express, as it is a day time journey. Thanks to the intervention of Chennai High Court, the passengers now book a seat in this train paying just half the previous fare amount paid. Apart from all these cases, the Grahak Panchayat fought successfully for many other matters also.