Indian Railways has launched a Vikalp scheme to accommodate the waitlisted passengers in other trains passing through the same route having vacant berths. It should be noted that confirmation of berths to waitlisted passengers is subject to the availability of berths in other trains. The Vikalp scheme is particularly handy on busy occasions such as festivals, or holiday seasons where getting a confirmed ticket is a daunting task. On the other hand, the alternate berth accommodation scheme also ensures optimum utilization of unoccupied berths. In the Vikalp scheme, the boarding and terminating stations might change to nearby stations. The facility is available for ticket bookings made through the IRCTC website. The scheme applies to all super-fast and daily mail trains that run across the country.
What is the IRCTC Vikalp Scheme?
The Vikalp scheme also known as alternate railway berths accommodation scheme was launched by Indian Railways in 2015. The sole motto of the scheme is to accommodate the passengers in alternate trains for optimum utilisation of available berths. Under the scheme, the boarding and termination stations may change to nearby stations. The Vikalp scheme does not guarantee confirmed seats/berths in alternate trains and they are subject to the vacancy/ availability.
How Can I Book a Train Ticket Under the Vikalp Scheme?
The train ticket booking under the Vikalp scheme is quite easy.
- Initially log into the IRCTC website using your credentials.
- Enter the Journey details as you do for regular booking
- If there are no available confirmed tickets
- Then you get an option with the tag Opt for Vikalp, tick the box.
- Click I agree in the small box provided and click proceed
- You can then proceed with the payment as done in regular booking
- You can then check the PNR status of your ticket post chart preparation
Vikalp Scheme Rules and Regulations of Indian Railways
Before you make your train ticket booking through the Vikalp scheme, it is ideal that you must be aware of the rules and regulations of the scheme.
- The Vikalp scheme is applicable across all trains and classes.
- A passenger can only opt for Vikalp if they are in the Waitlisted category after final charting.
- Indian Railways does not levy any extra charge for accommodating the passengers in the alternate trains.
- Once a passenger has been granted the Vikalp scheme in other trains, he cannot board the original train against which the booking is made.
- The Vikalp scheme applies to all waitlisted passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession.
- If Vikalp opted passenger gets a confirmed berth and opts for cancellation, then the passenger needs to beat the cancellation charges of the ticket.
- Under the Vikalp scheme, passengers can opt for a maximum of 7 trains at a time. All the trains that are traveling on the same route as the original train within 12hours from the departure time of the originally booked train are considered under the Vikalp scheme.
- Passengers who are provided a confirmed berth in the alternate train will not feature in the final chart of the original train. However, their details are included in the final chart of the alternate train featuring the confirmed and waitlist passengers.
- The passengers who get confirmed berth cannot opt for journey modification. If they wanted to change the Journey date, they need to cancel their booked ticket and book a new ticket featuring the modified Journey.
- A waitlisted passenger has the option to opt for the Vikalp scheme and travel on another train or cancel their existing ticket.
- Indian Railways does not levy any extra charges on the passengers and will also offer any refund if there is a difference in fare.
- Passengers who receive accommodation in alternate trains are treated as general passengers and are eligible for up-gradation.
- If a passenger with alternate accommodation did not travel on the other train, he can file a TDR request for the same to claim the refund.
- Indian Railways does not give any refund for the difference of fare between the original train including the Tatkal charges to the reallocated passengers.