In a big relief to passengers buying railway tickets over the counter, Indian Railways next week is likely to launch the ticket cancellation service by dialing 139 but initially it can be availed only by passengers whose train departure timings is between 11 pm and 6 am.
The railway has proposed that passengers can call 139 and give details of their conformed ticket for cancellation and they will receive a one-time password (OTP). They can visit nearest ticket counter till 10 a.m. next morning after cancellation over phone and provide the OTP to claim refund. The facility is for people who booked ticket from counters.
For other passengers, whose scheduled departure does not fall in the 11 pm-6 am window, the existing rule of 4 hours cancellation from the time of departure will be applicable.
“This service is for passengers who can’t reach counter within four hours of train departure for cancellation as their train timings are in night. It will benefit 2.5 lakh existing passengers,” said a senior railway official.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced the launch of this service in rail budget this year. Earlier, it was planned to extend the 139 cancellation services for all passenger reservation system (PRS) counter tickets but then it was found that there is a possibility of fraud on shorter routes. Railways have doubled the cancellation charges to discourage touts.
“Let this service begin with this time bracket and then we will see its impact. May be we will explore to expand it to cover all passengers after putting some checks and balances. ,” the official added.
Prabhu has announced other passenger friendly measures in budget like increasing senior citizens quota of lower births, extending e-catering policy to 408 major stations and an all India 24/7 helpline number 182 among others.