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Physically challenged has no concession on Booking Online

Physically challenged people get benefits of concessions in government jobs and at other places, but they are not so lucky when it comes to booking a railway ticket online.

Physically challenged persons get fare concessions, have special reservation counters at railway stations and even special coaches on trains, but get no concessions while booking an e-ticket.

Based on several complaints from physically-challenged passengers, a city activist involved with consumer rights and RTI, had raised the issue , Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an arm of the Indian Railways handling online ticketing operations.

Replying to the complaint that was made , IRCTC officials didn't seem positive. "A large number of suggestions are coming for updating of the system. Changes in our system are an ongoing activity and are implemented subject to technical and administrative feasibility. Kindly cooperate and live with the options presently available to serve you better," wrote an IRCTC official to Prabhune.

Not satisfied with the reply, Ram had taken up the matter with the Railway Board . A reply received after nine months from the office of  Kumar, adviser, freight marketing directorate, closed the complaint. It said, "All persons including physically challenged persons can book full fare tickets through the internet. However, where concessional tickets purchase is involved, the facility of e-ticketing has not been extended to cases where physical document is to be verified at the time of booking before extending the concession."

The Railway Board said this measure is taken to minimize the chances of misuse of electronic reservation slip.

However, Kapil says e-ticket booking facility is more essential for physically challenged persons than others. "If senior citizens get concession while booking the e-ticket, why not physically challenged?" he asked.

Joshi, whose child is physically challenged, said it took nine months for the Railway Board to reply.

"In the new system, the railways have added to our woes by demanding civil surgeon's certificate along with pro forma required for getting the concession," it said.

Rohith says the Railway Board logic of misuse of e-ticket in case of physically challenged passengers is weird. "This can happen with concessional passengers like senior citizens too," he said.