The Indian Railways rolled out a seamless method to cancel train tickets either by calling or by sending an SMS to a short-dial-code allotted for passengers to claim refunds without having to rush to the PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counters. Railway passengers can cancel confirmed train tickets by dialling 139 or sending the ticket details to the same number.
Passengers dialling 139 to cancel confirmed train tickets must select option 6 in the IVR guide and enter details such as the PNR number and the train number. After placing the request, a one-time password (OTP) will be given to the passenger that must be given at the satellite PRS centres to claim refunds. Passengers can also send the PNR number and the train number to 139 and get an OTP to cancel confirmed tickets.
The cancellation of confirmed tickets through 139 abides by the recent change in refund policy, which requires passengers to cancel their tickets at least four hours before the train's departure and claim the refund within the stipulated time limit, according to Financial Express.
The Indian Railways had tightened the ticket cancellation policies by doubling the cancellation charges and mandating a four-hour window to cancel a confirmed ticket to get any refund. The introduction of the new policy made it difficult for passengers to cancel tickets within the set time through PRS counters. The mobile cancellation option will ease the knots around last-minute cancellations.
"There are times when passengers find it difficult to reach counters within the stipulated time and cancel their tickets. Now cancellation is just a phone call away and passengers don't have to race against time for doing so," IRCTC chairman and managing director (CMD) A. K. Manocha said in a statement.
Besides 139, passengers can also cancel confirmed tickets on the official IRCTC website. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said both services were part of the Railway Budget 2016-17, PTI reported.
With the launch of the new cancellation service, the Indian Railways has also started supporting booking of train tickets using international credit and debit cards. This would benefit nearly 4 lakh registered NRIs and international users who want to book train tickets in India, Manocha said, according to Financial Express.