The Indian Railways has decided not to give berth to kids travelling with a half-ticket with effect from 22 April.
According to the Indian Railways, doing away with this provision would vacate around 20 million seats through which they estimate to earn revenue of around Rs.550 crore.
A railways official, on condition of anonymity, said, “We took this cue from air travel, where the kids are charged for the full ticket and avail a seat. Our estimates show that around 21-22 million kids travel on half-ticket annually in our trains and they avail the seat/berth, a rule which has been going on for decades.”
He added that since the railway minister had decided that we are not going to hike passenger fares, radical steps like these would help to improve the finances of the Indian Railways.
The child fare rule, which was amended by the Indian Railways in December last year, stated that full adult fare will be charged for children aged between five and 12 years if they want a berth/seat. The option would be available at the time of booking. However, if the parents don’t want a separate berth/seat for the children in the age group, then half of the adult fare shall continue to be charged, subject to the minimum distance for charging. Children under five years of age will continue to travel free, without berth.