Hyderabad: Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed the Railways to pay Rs. 15,000 as compensation to a passenger for not informing him about the cancellation of the train.

Complainant P Ramchander Rao resident of New Bhoiguda, Secunderabad had booked a ticket on February 9, 2019 on IRCTC, for Bangalore to Kachiguda journey on February 16, 2019. He paid Rs.249.41 for the ticket.

The ticket status was waiting list. Subsequently, the status was changed to RAC (Reservation against Cancellation) with a chance of 97 percent confirmation.

"I went through the status of other trains and noticed that the train in which I have booked the tickets was canceled. With the dual status of one showing RAC and another canceled, my sugar levels fluctuated. To reach Hyderabad to meet my clients, I booked tickets in Garib Rath by paying Rs 1063.40 with great difficulty," said Ramchander Rao.

The complainant also submitted that the railways did not cancel Rajdhani express scheduled to leave from Bangalore station at 8 pm. It canceled train 12786 which was purported to leave at 6:20 pm.

"They did not explain any reason for cancellation and caused inconvenience. I lost my professional income due to the acts of the railway," said the complainant.

Indian Railway in its reply said that in order to improve and modernize the signal system, a non-interlocked working programme for commissioning automatic signaling between B.N.C (Bangalore City) and W.F.D (White Field) section, the train was canceled along with other trains. They further contended that they issued a news bulletin on February 15, 2019, to all concerned about the cancellation of trains.

The railway submitted that the route of Rajdhani Express is different and as such, that was not canceled.

IRCTC said that the train operation was under the administrative control of the Railways. IRCTC said it is a separate entity and has nothing to do with the complainant and prayed to dismiss the complaint.

After examining the documents and evidence, the commission said: "If the opposite party intimated the complainant immediately after the issuance of a news bulletin about the cancellation of the train, he might have made alternative arrangements on February 15, 2019, itself in order to avoid unnecessary delay and inconvenience. Given the attitude of the opposite party and due to late intimation about the cancellation, he booked another ticket in Garib Rath train by paying Rs.1063.40 towards Tatkal ticket."

The commission noted that cancellation of the train without any pre-arranged schedule, alternative remedy, and delivery of intimation on the traveling day itself by the opposite party amount to deficiency in rendering its services towards the complainant.

The commission asked Railways to pay Rs.1063.40 towards the tatkal ticket by the complainant. The commission also asked the Railway to pay Rs.10,000 towards compensation for causing inconvenience and mental agony and pay Rs.5,000 towards costs of the litigation.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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