New Delhi: Soon an airline-style seat layout map will be displayed as you book a train seat online. Railways are at an advance stage of implementing the proposal to help passengers chose the seat of their choice.
The aim is to make the reservation process transparent and easier, thus helping travellers make an informed choice of their berths, said a railway official.
A colour coding scheme is being worked out where booked and un-booked seats will be displayed in different shades.
However, unlike in airline, there would be no charges for selecting the preferred seat and no premium would be attached to it, the official said.
The seat layout map would especially help the senior citizens and women passengers chose the seat of their preference. Railways have in place a policy whereby seat allotment for elderly are done in lower berth by default. But at times, there has been complaints when they have been allotted middle and upper berths as well.
The Centre for Railway Information Systems is giving shape to the proposal, whose rollout could be announced during the presentation of the Union Budget in February.
Currently, the computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) allots seats on the first come, first served basis till the availability and thereafter Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) or Waiting List tickets are issued. The RAC or Waiting List tickets gets automatically updated against the cancellation of confirmed seats and also against release of unutilised reservation quotas.
As per an estimate, more than 13 lakh online tickets are booked through IRCTC portal – www.irctc.co.in – the e-ticketing outlet of the national carrier.