All the details I had written about Tatkal in the comment section of my previous post was given by my dad..
Since the topic of discussion turned to Tatkal , thought I would get more info straight from the horse's mouth.
So, was waiting to catch hold of a TTE ( got the right abbreviation from him...stands for Travelling Ticket Examiner ) ..on the phone to get more details about Tatkal.
Basically it works on the principle of getting your work done at the last moment by shelling down extra bucks.
As I said earlier , it was introduced to help ppl get reservations at short notice..esp to help passengers travel in emergency situations.
There are a few things to be noted.
I think there is a general misconception that Tatkal tickets are premium ones...where one gets a preference over the regular reservation.
But the fact is that Tatkal tickets are reserved to be released only 6 days before the date of departure ( it used to be 24 hrs) .
Incase the general reservations are still available on these 6 days , then Tatkal is not released and one can get the regular ones at regular fares. There is no chance of fraud ( like holding reg. ones and releasing Tatkal as the system is computerised and a special receipt is issued for T.Tickets ) .
There are times when even the regular tickets are not sold out and the remaining seats are alloted by the TTE in the train.
Now coming to the main point ..is it serving the purpose?
well..very marginally as there are a few catches to the scheme...
1.Tatkal tickets can be taken only from point of departure to destination...so one cannot make reservations upto any stations in the middle.
2. Tatkal tickets cannot be cancelled..since its 6 days now, u get only 50% if cancelled before 24hrs of departure.
3. Lot of people dont even know that such a scheme exists.
As it is clear , the purpose of facilitating passengers travelling in emergency situations get reservation ,is not served now, b'cos the time has been extended to 6 days...and so even ppl who can wait for a few days but has more money power avail the scheme.
Releasing the quota before 24 hrs made much more sense.
But it is said that this 6 days system was introduced to deal with the peak summer season .
Lets hope Lallu introduces better schemes and travelling is made smoother and safer in future !!!