Railways collect over Rs 6112 cr from 2019-2023 ticket cancellations, reveals RTI

But according to the chief public relations officer of the profit-making SECR headquartered in Bilaspur, Vikas Kashyap, the amount received from the cancellation is the minimal clerical charges taken against cancellation of tickets and do not add to Railways as its earning.
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RAIPUR: Guess the revenue Indian Railways can get from the cancellation of tickets? It’s a whopping Rs 6112 crore collected between 2019 to 2023! However, the railway official cited it as a small amount and not part of the earnings of the national transporter.

The year-wise amount deducted from the cancellations was revealed by the railway ministry in response to a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by the Raipur-based social activist Kunal Shukla.

According to the information shared with the activist, the ticket cancellation in the year 2019-20 was Rs 1724.44 crore, year 2020-21 was Rs 710.54 crore, year 2021-22 it was Rs 1569 crore and in the year 2022-23 the amount accrued from cancellation was Rs 2109.74 crore (provisional). (See Table).

Taken together during the given four years, the Indian Railways earned over Rs 6112 crore only from cancellation of tickets

In the last ten year the passenger fare has also been increased by 85 percent, Shukla said.

The railway tickets for reservations can be acquired through the railway counter ticket or online e-ticket.

However, according to the chief public relations officer of the profit-making South East Central Railways (SECR) headquartered in Bilaspur, Vikas Kashyap, the amount received from the cancellation is the minimal clerical charges taken against cancellation of tickets and do not add to Railways as its earning.

“The entire amount from ticket cancellations goes to the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an independent public sector undertaking. Going by the huge proportion of tickets generated daily at around 70-80 lakh across India, the amount accrued from the cancellations is not that high”, Kashyap said.

In recent years, passengers faced harrowing moments on the repeated unscheduled suspension or cancellation of several passenger trains in SECR from short to long distance routes on different dates of the given year.

In one of the earlier RTI responses, the SECR admitted over 67600 passenger trains have been cancelled from 2020 till April 2023 in the zone. There is still no let up on frequent cancellations of many trains that led to petitioner Kamal Dubey to approach the high court in Bilaspur, citing that the persistent unforeseen cancellation of passenger trains by the railways for varied reasons has added to the woes of the commuters who never expected such prolonged inconvenience, while there is no restriction on the movement of freight trains along the same routes.

The court expressed serious concerns and asked the railways to file a reply to elucidate under what policy the freight trains have been given preference to continue on the same route while the people who booked tickets are left in distressed situations.

The court has also asked the railways that either they should work out some alternative arrangements for the passengers who booked their tickets or notify there will be no services of passenger trains available so the people accordingly can opt for alternative mode of transport.

Cancellation/clerical charges of railway tickets:

Years Amount (Rs in Crore)

2019-20 1724.44

2020-21 710.54

2021-22 1569.08

2022-23 2109.74 (provisional)

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