Vikalp Yojana is a scheme launched by the Indian Railways in order to improve the service provided for all the passengers who are in the waiting list category. Thus it increases the flexibility of Indian Railways making it a convenient service provider. The approach of Vikalp Yojana is passenger friendly. A waiting list ticket for a train will be converted to a confirmed ticket for the next train running along the same route if a berth or seat is available. Vikalp Yojana has been applied for trains running between Delhi to Jammu and Delhi to Lucknow currently.
Vikalp Yojana: Planning and Benefits
The plan of Vikalp Yojana is to assure the waitlisted passengers a confirmed ticket. Thus the passengers will get a ticket for the next train along the same route. This service was initially available for all the passengers who booked online tickets for Mail and Express trains. The service will go on for a period of 6 months. Then according to the flexibility and reviews by the passengers, the rules will be revised and the scheme will be promoted widely. One of the advantages of this scheme is that a confirmed ticket is booked for the next available train along the same route without any extra charges. Thus the Vikalp scheme aims to provide a two-way benefit: The convenience of passengers and the utilization of unreserved berths which will profit the Railways division.
The passengers, if waitlisted, will be notified to opt for the Vikalp Scheme. If the option is affirmed then the confirmed ticket on the alternative train will be notified via an SMS sent to the registered mobile number of the passenger. This an especially effective scheme during the peak seasons when many passengers fail to get reservations. The chances of getting a confirmed ticket are very high and it is a reassurance for many passengers. On the 1st November 2016, a pilot run was done for this scheme. After the pilot run, this scheme was made available for counter ticket bookings and the running routes are slowly being expanded. Another benefit of this scheme is that in case there is a difference in ticket fare between the train opted for and the alternative train confirmed, the difference in the amount is refunded to the account of the passenger.
Implementation of Vikalp Scheme
To enable easier implementation of the Vikalp Yojana the following steps are followed:
- A proper database is maintained for all the waitlisted passengers.
- In case a confirmed booking is available on the alternative train along the same route, a passenger who has opted for Vikalp Scheme is sent a confirmed ticket.
- The name of the passenger will be deleted from the waitlisted database of the original train.
- A separate list will be prepared for all the passengers who have got a confirmed booking on alternative trains.
- A separate and updated chart is prepared for confirmed and waitlisted passengers.
- Only in the case of a huge rush, a passenger will not be cleared of the waitlist.
- The passengers who have opted for Vikalp Scheme are advised to check their PNR status regularly for updates.