“Henceforth, any individual or party seeking to book trains/coaches on FTR shall approach the IRCTC and it will book trains/coaches online on behalf of the individual or party”, stated the circular issued earlier this month.
Currently, to book such coaches or trains, the concerned party had to go to the chief booking supervisor or station master of the station from where the journey would commence and provide a written request containing journey details for FTR booking.
After depositing the money, they would be given a receipt with a unique FTR number printed on it. The process was cumbersome, officials said, which necessitated the change.
Mostly special trains or coaches were booked by travel agencies taking parties for religious tours, by MNCs taking employees for trips, schools booking for educational tours and even individuals travelling with a large contingent, officials said.
However, now, a charge of five percent on the total fare shall be levied, over and above a 30 percent service charge on such bookings.
The railway has fixed a security deposit of Rs 50,000 per coach and for special trains a minimum of 18 coaches will be charged. The entire transaction in the new online system will have to be digital, the board has said.