New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) The Railway Ministry today said it had no plans to extend the advance booking period for train tickets from 60 days to 90 days.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Railways R Velu said the request for extending the reservation period to 90 days was made by the Tourism Ministry.
On July 13, the ministry had restored the advance reservation period for booking of rail tickets to 60 days instead of 90 days, bringing to an end the experiment that had not gone well with the passengers.
However, no change was effected in the time limit of 360 days for advance booking period for foreign tourists and 30 days for certain day-time express trains like Taj Express, Gomti Express and Shane Punjab Express.
On March 1, the Railways had decided to extend the reservation period to 90 days on a trial basis. It was further extended to another three months.
After a thorough evaluation of the scheme, the Railways found it had not gone well with the passengers. Hence, it was discontinued from July 15.
The Tourism Ministry has been demanding an increase in the reservation period to 90 days so that tourists could plan their visits well in advance.
Replying to another query, Mr Velu said Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an extended arm of the Railways, is closely working with the Tourism Ministry for promoting tourism packages covering major tourist destinations in the country.
He said IRCTC is also working closley with the overseas offices of the Tourism Ministry for promotion of tourist trains such as Mahaparinirvan Express and some other luxury trains.
In 2006-07, the Railways earned Rs 17,225 crore from passenger traffic, and the figures included earnings from foreign tourists, he said.