CHENNAI:The first railway-authorised private ticket reservation counter titled Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) in Southern Railway became operational in Erode on Wednesday.
The YTSK, located near the new bus stand, is a private entity who has been authorised to sell reserved as well as unreserved railway tickets for a premium, in a bid to de-congest railway-run counters. The additional charges at YTSK counters will be Rs 30 per passenger for the second sitting and sleeper classes, Rs 40 per passenger for all other classes and Rs 1 per passenger for unreserved & platform tickets. Tatkal tickets can also be booked at these counters.
The working hours of YTSK will be from 8.30 am to 10 pm on Monday-Saturday and 8.30 am to 8 pm on Sunday. The railway-run reservation counters operate from 8 am to 8 pm on Monday-Saturday and 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Tatkal ticket booking at YTSK will start half an hour later than railway counters i.e. AC tatkal tickets can be booked between 10.30 am and 11 am and Non-AC tatkal tickets between 11.30 pm and 12 pm.
In case of cancellation, the YTSK is authorised to cancel only tickets booked at its counter. However, YTSK tickets can be cancelled at any other railway reservation counters. No concession tickets can be booked at YTSK.
The YTSK has been introduced at a time when the share of e-tickets has gone above 70 per cent and few passengers are able to book confirmed tickets at booking counters. YTSK will benefit those who are not internet-savvy enough to book e-tickets or avoid the rush at railway-run ticket counters. Conversely, as YTSKs are allowed to operate half an hour after booking window opens, passengers will not have any advantages at the YTSK for tatkal or normal tickets during holiday season, when tickets get booked within minutes on IRCTC web portal and railway counters.
The policy note for YTSK was first introduced last year after the BJP led government took over at the Centre. Seen as one of the first steps towards privatisation of railways, it came in for heavy criticism from worker unions. “There is no advantage in YTSK for passengers. Already 70 per cent of tickets are booked online. How will a private counter with a 30-minute delay help passengers?” questioned N Kanniah, general secretary of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU), the recognised workers union of Southern Railway. Southern Railway official said plans were afoot to introduce 4-5 YTSKs in Chennai division as well.
Time Differenceworking Hours of YTSK & Rail Counter
O 8.30 am to 10 pm vs 8 am to 8 pm (Monday-Saturday)
O 8.30 am to 8 pm vs 8 am to 2 pm (Sunday)
O 10.30am-11 am vs 10 am-11 am (AC Tatkal)
O 11.30am -12 pm vs 11 am -12 pm (Non-AC tatkal)