The Indian Railways has decided to launch the Vikalp Scheme on five new routes after its launch on the Delhi-Jammu and Delhi Lucknow routes on a pilot basis in Nov 2015.
Under the scheme, waitlisted passengers are provided with confirmed accommodation in alternate trains, provided they opt for the same while booking tickets online. The idea is to make optimal use of the accommodation available.
According to the recent updates, the expanded Vikalp Scheme would provide alternative accommodation option irrespective of whether the boarding and deboarding stations of a passenger are originating or terminating stations on any given route.
The scheme has been introduced on the following new routes:
The scheme is being introduced only for six months that too on a pilot basis. Also, the railway board has asked CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) to make important modifications in the ticketing software to further the convenience of the entire procedure.
All you need to know about the Vikalp Scheme:
- It’s important to note that the Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme or ATAS is valid only for tickets booked online.
- No passenger is entitled for any extra charges or refund for difference of fare.
- Only Mail/Express trains can make use of the scheme.
- All waitlisted passengers can avail ATAS irrespective of concession and booking quota. It’s important to learn that the scheme is valid only on pre-designated trains that are a part of Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Lucknow sectors.
- Wait-listed passengers have a choice to opt for ATAS.
- Only waitlisted passengers (those who opted for ATAS) are eligible for accommodation allotment in the alternate train provided their status shows “fully waitlisted” post the charts are prepared.
- Checking PNR status after charting is important.
- All or no passengers of a PNR can be transferred to an alternate train in the same class. When considering alternate trains, a set of stations is allotted based on the passenger’s convenience, and the passenger can be considered for any train leaving from any of these stations.
- Passengers (those who opted for ATAS) who have been provided accommodation in the alternate trains are not be listed on the waitlist chart of the original train. A separate chart is prepared for such passengers which is pasted along with the charts of confirmed and waitlist passengers.
- It’s only on authority of original ticket that a passenger with ATAS can travel in the alternate train.
- If a waitlisted passenger has been allotted accommodation in the alternate train, he/she cannot board the original train. And if found doing so, the passenger will be charged and considered as travelling without ticket.
- The ATAS opted passengers are eligible for upgradation in the alternate train.
- Even after the charts of the alternate train are prepared, waitlisted passengers with provision of alternate accommodation are still required to check PNR status. Because there may be last minute changes which can result in re-allotment.
- Passengers can check PNR status by calling on 139 (Call Centre) or can look for the same on Web Enquiry, Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminals and PRS Enquiry Counters.
- All ATAS opted passengers are treated as confirmed, once they opt to cancel after being given the provision of an alternate accommodation. Additionally, cancellation policy applies accordingly.
- There’s no difference of fare between the alternate and original train, including charges for that of Tatkal. Refund will only be given to re-allotted passengers.
- No journey modification will be permitted or considered for that matter, once ATAS passengers have been given an alternate accommodation. And if a passenger requires to do so, he/she will have to cancel the ticket and book a new one.
- For some reason, if a passenger has not boarded the alternate train, he/she can file a TDR request and claim for refunds.