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Disabled can soon book rail tickets online


Soon, differently disabled people can book rail tickets online at concessional fares that they are entitled to. At present, differently abled people have to go to railway reservation counters to book tickets if they want to avail the fare concession given by railways. 

"The railway board is ready with the plan to facilitate online ticket booking for its special passengers," a senior official said. 

The plan is to issue identity cards with specific numbers to each differently abled person which will be built into the computerized passenger reservation system (PRS) across the country. "This will ensure that differently abled persons can avail fare concession even while booking tickets online," the official said. 

Under the proposal, the board plans to set up specific offices in zones and divisions where differently abled people can get their fare concession card made after producing a medical certificate. 

Physically challenged people get fare concessions, have special reservation counters at railway stations and even special coaches on trains but cannot avail fare concessions while booking an e-ticket. They can book full fare tickets through the internet. 

The move came after railway board received several complaints from differently abled passengers and social activists. The issue was also raised with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the PSU handling online ticketing operations. 

The railways' argument was that in purchase of concessional tickets, the physical document needed to be verified at the time of booking before extending the concession. 

However, the railway board realized that e-ticket booking facility was much more essential for physically challenged persons than other passengers. Under the plan, the physical verification of the document will be done at the time of issuing identity card, an official said.


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