50% concession in train fare for AIDS patients become effective

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New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI) Announced with great fanfare in the Railway Budget 2008-2009, the scheme to provide 50 per cent concession in ticket fare to AIDS/HIV patients to visit treatment centres across the country became operational today.

Giving details of the modalities of the scheme, a ministry official said AIDS/HIV patients going for Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) would become eligible for the facility only after producing certificates that they had been receiving ART treatment at the designated centres.

''A certificate in this regard, issued by officer in-charge of the ART centre concerned, will have to be submitted to the station master in order to avail the part-waiver,'' he said.

Patients will be required to fill up a form available with ART cen tres that prove they have received or are going to receive treatment, and the concession will be granted on the basis of such a declaration.

The official also clarified that concession would be granted only in the basic fare of ordinary second class (not in sleeper or any other class) of mail and express trains.

''Other charges like reservation fee, surcharge and development charges will be recovered in full as per the existing rules,'' he said.

Further, such a scheme will not be applicable in case of premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Garib Rath and Jan Sadharan, becasue these trains do not have ordinary second class.

Also, the concession in fare will be provided only to the patients and not to their attendants.

The official said cancer and orthopaedic patients (specified by the Railway Ministry) also avail 50 per cent concession in train fare.

''This is the first proposal, announced in the Railway Budget 2008-09, which has been put into force,'' he pointed out.

UNI SKS KK GC1542

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