Things to Know About IRCTC Travel Insurance

Indian Railway has come up with Travel insurance service for its e-ticket passengers. However, IRCTC offers only linkage to transact with Insurance agency via its website. It will be an optional travel insurance at 92 paise per passenger, inclusive of all taxes. Like any other insurance scheme, conditions of this should also be understood properly to make its optimum use.

So, here are some of the details which an Indian Railway Passenger should be well-versed with before taking up the scheme.

1. The Insurance Company will be responsible for policy issuance and claim settlement, and not the IRCTC. So, next time you take up the insurance, do check which company is responsible for providing it & what are procedure to claim the same, in case needed.

2. This scheme is available only for Indian citizens who will book e-ticket from NGeT (Next Generation E-Ticketing) Website Application only. Foreign Citizen are not liable to avail this scheme.

3. The policy is elective, however if the option is exercised it will be obligatory for all passengers booked below one PNR number. So make sure the number of passenger for whom you are booking the tickets. As additional cost might incurred for all the passenger which will be compulsory.

4. This policy is for Confirmed, RAC, and Wait-listed Ticket holders. And no refund of premium will be there against cancellation or non-confirmation of the ticket. Thus, make sure the conformity of the journey from your side, or else you might be wasting your insurance.

5. The travel insurance scheme will be same for all class traveler. The scheme offers a compensation of Rs. 1,00,000 in case of death or permanent total disability; Rs. 7,50,000 in case of permanent partial disability; Rs. 2,00,000 for hospitalization expenses in case of injury; Rs. 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains.

6. The cover isn't applicable for children up to 5 years of age and foreign residents, and for suburban railway journey.

7. In case of vikalp train, the policy acquired by way of the passenger for making this journey will be valid inside the vikalp train additionally.

8. In case of diversion of route due to any motive, the insurance shall be for the diverted direction.

9. Passenger will get their insurance details through SMS and email on their registered phone number & email ID respectively. It will be send directly by Insurance Company alone with the link to fill nomination details. Yet, policy number can be viewed from ticket booking history of IRCTC page.

10. When ticket is booked, the nomination details is to be filled at respective insurance company website. If nomination info is not filled then the agreement will be made with heirs, if the claim arises.

So, next time you book a ticket from IRCTC website make sure you are well-versed of all the above pointers. As most of the scheme says, ‘read the offer document carefully before investing.’ Happy Ticket booking & Safe journey!!

Thumbs up to Indian Railways Mission Electrification!

In another attempt to reduce the revenue losses of the Indian Railway’s, the Indian railway Ministry has come up with yet another impressive plan to cover the losses. This time though, it is not just a stride to save some cash but also to switch to a better, faster, cheaper and more efficient mode of transport power. The IR has finally decided to electrify its tracks and this comes after realizing that other power sources are comparatively inefficient and costlier. By choosing electricity as the power provider, the IR has undoubtedly impressed with its decision making.

Calling it ‘Mission Electrification’, Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu made it very clear that the railway Ministry is very serious as far as reducing revenue deficits are concerned. Also, this move falls in the purview of the current government’s cleanliness program, Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. Choosing electrical power, the energy used to run trains will be clean, promoting cleanliness and intolerance to pollution. Viewing an ambitious aim of electrification of 24,000 km extensive track in the subsequent 5 years, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu expressed that it will assist in administration of trains in a quicker and sane manner.

“The target is electrification of about 24,000 km in the next five years and the electrification will also reduce the energy bill. We have tied up with three PSUs to increase the pace of route electrification. With the expansion of electrification of majority of rail network, railways will run trains in a faster and cleaner manner”, expressed the ambitious minister who looks determined on reducing railway losses in the near future. At present about 2000 km track is in process of being electrified in an annum and the plan is to arrive at 4000 km per annum by 2017-18 and 6000 km in following year.

Railways anticipate to decrease energy bill by Rs 10,000 crores yearly through electrification of main routes. Expressing apprehension over the rising toxic waste, Prabhu said, “Carbon emission is a major challenge in India and also in the world. We have reached level where carbon cannot be absorbed. We have to reduce the greenhouse gas significantly to prevent ill-effect of pollution on human lives.” He added that using uncontaminated energy counting solar and wind energy is best way to reduce the emission intensity.

With such vision and determination shown initially, the railway ministry has rightly backed its vows and has acted with blistering speed when it comes to clean energy and reducing revenue losses. For the passengers, it is a delight as well, that’s because electrified tracks will lead to better facilities and greater speed of traveling, reducing their hassles by a major degree, all in few years’ time!

Diwali gesture by IR will assuage cramped passengers

If there is something that reminds people about extra caution for booking railway tickets early, it’s certainly the festive period. People wish to visit their native place or probably go and meet relatives. For many it’s the time to repose and visit various places and enjoy holidays issued by workplaces and educational institutions. All this is very refreshing for the people, but it is a horror for Indian Railways because the numbers of people who stand in the queue to book a ticket during this period are extremely high.

Diwali is always a difficult time to get a ticket, and for obvious reasons as well. But, the Railway Ministry scored a master class in reducing this hassle. They released special trains to various locations in order to meet the rush that was expected. These special or simply trains with extra coaches and simply additional trains ensured that more people got to visit their loved ones, spend time in a festive atmosphere and celebrate Diwali as well. A lot of applause was directed towards the Railway Ministry for the same. Keeping the success of that decision in mind, the ministry also released special trains around Chhath Pooja time as well.

Signs indicate that more such decisions will be taken not only to bear with the rush, but also to keep the people happy. India has so many religions and so many festivals that there is hardly a season or time where the rush isn’t directed somewhere. Moreover, it is difficult for the people too to cope up with limited seats. Be it an online booking or an offline one, it gets really hard to get a ticket. People usually bank on the tatkal service or the premium tatkal service in order to get that seat.

But, those too are limited seats and it gets worse when the rush is too much. A final and desperate option left is that of the general compartment where there is absolutely no control on how many people will occupy the coach. This becomes harassing, especially during the festive season, and general coaches usually have overwhelming number of people. It is possible for very few people to actually get a ticket or a seat, especially when it’s for senior citizens; the predicament is next to impossible.

That’s solely the reason why the masses are happy with the Ministry’s decision. A big hurrah has also been circulating in the public domain as soon as the wave of news that the Indian railways will release more such special trains on various occasions. It’s a win-win situation for the people and the Railway Ministry, something that’s not usually witnessed!

IR’s emphasis on clean tracks stretches to Gujarat’s 2 corridors

For the citizens of Gujarat, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu delivered an ideal gift by announcing to make 2 networks into green corridors. The 175-km long line, which is divided into 2 divisions, was made human discharge free networks in the light of Swachh Bharat Mission. The 2 networks namely- The 141-km-long Okha-Kanalus line and the connected 34-km-long Porbandar-Wansjaliya line are the beneficiaries in the western part of India.

These networks in Gujarat will now function as green train corridors and all trains travelling on this network will now be well equipped with bio-toilets. There are about 29 trains going through this line, barring the seasonal ones. The trains consist of approximately 700 coaches and all of them are catered with bio-toilets. This step forward will not only thwart open discharge on the railway track but will also increase the standard of sanity and cleanliness that lacks a lot in Indian railway coaches.

The impetus to have more and more bio-toilets came after the tremendous success that these green corridors garnered at various places in India. The 114-km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai line in Tamil Nadu was the first to be made a human discharge-free railway corridor and in accordance to that, as many as 10 passenger trains having an approximate number of 286 coaches in them that travelled through this network have bio-toilets provided in them.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has been keen on making arrangements for bio-toilets right from the outset and has asked authorities to pay heed at the manufacturing phase of coaches. Though he has shed some light and indicated that replacing the old toilets that discharged openly with the new bio-toilets won’t be an easy task at all. But, he also handed out faith on the people responsible and involved in making this possible by claiming that concerned railway employees have urbanized the modus operandi to make the difficult process easier than it actually looks.

With a prerequisite of bio-toilets in all the ensuing coaches of a particular line or network, human discharge waste from trains that is thrown onto the tracks will completely impede which will in turn assist in humanizing the hygiene and sanitation of railway tracks and the rail itself.

The efforts put up by the Railways speak for them in form of numbers. Indian Railways have by now laid out approximately 48,000 bio-toilets in almost 14,000 passenger coaches. In the current epoch, the ensuing economic annum, 14,000 bio-toilets have by now been installed in a number of coaches and it is intended to install a supplementary of 16,000 more bio-toilets in railway coaches in the coming term of the year 2016 that has been great in Railway’s perspective.

Joining hands with Germany - Railway’s stride in time management

Indian Railways is the world’s largest employer, no doubts about that. It has been a formidable organization that serves millions of people in India on a daily basis. More or less, it can be called the backbone, the lifeline of India. But, with all the praises and appreciation it receives, Indian railways has apparently also been synonymous with improper time management and forgettable schedule discipline. Nut, those are directly and indirectly related to various factors that are not in human control. Factors like rain, bad weather, mishaps, signals for passing trains, supply chain prioritization etc.

What passengers want?

Barring all the unwanted problems, there is one thing the passengers have been constantly pointing out and have expected improvement ever since long rail routes have come into existence. That thing is the duration that a train takes to complete a journey. It would be a relief if a certain distance between two stations could be covered in lesser time.

The issue-

The issue, that is the root of this constant complaining by passengers, is outdated train models. The trains that run on Indian tracks have lesser efficiency than expected. These trains can run at a certain speed for a short duration of time. Overloading or over speeding usually leads to higher maintenance costs, so keeping the budget and expenditure in mind, the Indian Railways plays reasonable and limits the maintenance cost by managing the speed.

The solution-

Since the trains are outdated models, new trains are the need of the hour. Trains that can travel at good speed with excellent efficiency can solve the problems being faced by Indian railway passengers.

Government’s action-

Realizing the issue faced by the Railway department and of course the passengers, the railway ministry has decided to bring in high speed trains. Targeting to reduce the speed of trains between start and end points, the Indian Railways will sign a pact with Germany for running high-speed trains in the country. In accordance to the Railway Ministry, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is set to be signed between these nations for bilateral development and growth rail sector.

The Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu had visited Germany in April 2016 when it is believed that the deal was set in motion. In October, the deal is set to be discussed and finalized so that Indian passengers can enjoy high speed travelling, saving time simultaneously. It is believed that, the MoU will be agreed between Indian Railways and DB Engineering and Consulting GmbH in October. This deal can be the beginning of advanced foreign relations in Germany, stepping foot towards better relations in Europe as well.