CHENNAI: Soon, reservation charts will not be pasted on trains leaving Chennai Central and six other select major stations across the country. The Railway Board has decided to do away with the charts on coaches of trains that start from New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Mumbai Central, Mumbai Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus, Howrah, Sealdah and Chennai Central. The board also has sent a circular to all the zones concerned. The charts contain the list of passengers and their reserved seat numbers. It especially helps those with tickets that get confirmed in the last minute and passengers who had applied for upgradation.
A senior Southern Railway official told Express that the proposal will most likely be implemented within this month. He also said the initiative will save about ` 30 lakh per year, besides reducing paper requirement.The railway board had taken the decision a few days ago based on the feedback from South Western Railway, which had stopped using reservation charts since last year for trains leaving Bengaluru and Yeshwantpur stations. According to the circular, the measure will be implemented on an experimental basis for three months. A final decision on continuation will be taken after receiving feedback.
The pasting of charts at Central and Egmore is outsourced, with the contract costing the public exchequer around `30 lakh every year. Railways also prints and supplies around 4000 sheets of paper to the contractors, with Central station alone requiring about 75 percent of the quantity. “By ending the practice at Central, we will be able to save some money,” the official said.
Another senior official said they will implement the decision after adequate publicity (on alternate measures) is given. Presently, there is a centralised chart for the benefit of wait-listed and RAC passengers at the entrance of the station.
However, V Rama Rao, director of Traffic and Transportation forum, said he was disappointed with the decision as it would cause hardship to passengers. “Senior citizens and women especially depend on the charts.” Those rushing to the station at the last moment may not find time to go to the enquiry counter or see the centralised chart, he added.