Keeping in terms of a Rail Budget Announcement 2016-17 by Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu launched following two services last week: Enhanced Senior Citizen Quota and Rationalisation of Lumpsum freight rates for Merry-Go-Round (MGR)
These services were launched on the 23rd March 2016 by Member Traffic Railway Board Mohd. Jamshed in a programme held in Rail Bhawan for Indian Railways. Following are details of the services:
Ear-marking of senior citizen quota:
This concept was introduced in 2007 vide Commercial Circular as per which a combined reservation quota of two lower berths per coach in Sleeper, AC¬3 tier and AC¬2 tier classes was earmarked for the following category of passengers when travelling alone :
a) Senior Citizens
b) Female Passengers 45 years of age and above; and
c) Pregnant women
In 2015, the existing quota of two lower berths per coach in Sleeper class was enhanced to four lower berths per coach.
The condition of providing this quota only when travelling alone was relaxed and now the facility of booking ticket under this quota is available even when in a single application two passengers are in combination of Senior Citizens or Female Passengers above the age of 45 or Pregnant women.
It has now been decided to enhance this quota to six lower berths per coach in Sleeper class and three lower berths per coach in 3AC and 2AC classes.
It has also been decided that in Rajdhani, Duronto and fully AC Express trains, this quota in 3AC class will be four lower berths per coach as against three lower berths per coach in case of normal Mail or Express trains.
Rationlisation of lumpsum rates for Merry Go Round (MGR) system:
In order to provide an economical and reliable alternative short lead traffic, a revised scheme with rationalised lump¬sum rates for MGR has been formulated. Conditions for which are as follows:
The MGR Terminals at both ends shall be privately owned and will operate round the clock.
Rail track between the two terminals will be provided by the customer.
Railways will provide locos, wagons, brake-vans and other rolling stock as per requirement for running of the rakes under MGR system.
Lumpsum rates charged under the MGR System would depend upon the number of rake loaded per day and the lead of traffic.
As per the Railway Ministry the revised MGR System will bring in following benefits:
For 18 km lead, the revised MGR rates would be around Rs. 47 per ton (BOXN wagons) or 2-3 trips per day as compared to road rates of Rs. 72 per ton for the same lead.
Singareni Collieries Ltd. has committed to give around 3 to 4 million tonnes of additional traffic with the rationalised rates in the next financial year.
The rationalised rates shall come into force from 1st of April 2016.