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Rlys takes Tiruchy tickets out of general pool

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Railway passengers in several major and intermediate stations in Tamil Nadu were experiencing a torrid time getting berths confirmed during this festive season after the Southern Railway suddenly changed reservation rules.
General quota has been changed to pooled quota (PQ)/remote location (RL) in about 25 trains. This means that the number of berths - earmarked to and from intermediate stations like Katpadi, Ariyalur, Arakkonam, Salem, Jolarpettai, Erode, Tiruchy and Madurai - were drastically reduced.
“From Salem to Chennai, we used to book tickets under the general quota in Kovai Express. There were about 1,200-second class seats (2S) available. But after the change, the number of seats was brought down to around 250.
“Getting confirmed seats during weekends, even in chair car (CC), is nearly impossible. Thousands of businessmen travelling between Salem, Chennai and Coimbatore are forced to look for alternative modes of transport,” said K Baskar of the Tiruvallur Rail Passengers Association.
Similarly, travel between Chennai Egmore-Tiruchy and Chennai Egmore-Erode in Mangaluru Express (Train No 16859) were brought under remote location from general quota. This reduced both sleeper and third AC berths.
“Until last month, Chennai Egmore-Tiruchy sleeper class waiting list 15 and third AC waiting list up to five were usually confirmed. Under the remote-location quota, however, even waiting list 1 or 2 is not getting confirmed,”said D Viswanathan, a retired railway employee.
It has been learnt that general quota between two stations within Tamil Nadu has been removed in all Kerala and Karnataka-bound trains originating from Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central.
General was changed to remote location for Arakkonam, Katpadi and Jolarpetai, in Madurai-Dehradun bi-weekly, Rameshwaram-Tirupati Meenakshi Express and Nagercoil bi-weekly Express.
E Shankaran of the Katpadi Railway Passengers Association feared that the change would affect the connectivity between Vellore and south Tamil Nadu.

“We have only three weekly trains to Madurai, Rameswaram and Nagercoil. With hardly 20 to 25 berths per train, over 40 lakh passengers from the district will not get tickets.”
However, Southern Railway officials said the change in allocation of quota is decided based on demand and occupancy, and is reviewed periodically.
“In view of the heavy rush during festive season, the general quota has been altered from October, keeping in mind passengers who are going to Kerala and southern Tamil Nadu. If we get a grievance notice from the intermediate station passengers’ forums, we will review the allocation,”said an official.
How ticketing works
The booking system is reactive. As soon as a ticket from Chennai to Salem gets booked, the same seat will be made available for another passenger from Salem to Coimbatore. Reservation is done under 19 categories including general quota, pooled quota, remote location, roadside, outstation, women, handicapped, tatkal and high official (HO) quota.Except tatkal, more than 70 per cent tickets are earmarked in general quota for end-to-end travellers. Five per cent to 15 per cent (maximum) tickets will be allotted under PQ (origination to intermediate station and RL (between two intermediate stations) and other categories for bookings

Source:epaper . newindianexpress. com//c/23077281 

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