Vikalp is the name of the novel initiative of the Indian railways, to provide a hassle-free experience of booking just once to its passengers. In this initiative, railways have decided to provide the option of shifting the waitlisted tickets from one train to the next on which seats/ berths are available. The 'Alternate Trains Accommodation Scheme' (Vikalp), will be launched on November 1. The pilot project scheme would be first implemented for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and the Delhi-Jammu routes. It will initially be available only for the tickets booked online.
According to a circular sent out by Railway Board to zonal railways, the scheme as suggested by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) " will be implemented across mail / express trains of the same category, and no extra charges shall be taken from passengers, and no refund shall be provided for the difference of fares", adding that a passenger allotted alternate seat will be travelling in an alternate train with full authority of the original ticket.
Under the present system, passengers can book just one train at a time and the wait-listed tickets do not guarantee a seat, they have to be cancelled. Now, the new system provides the passengers an added opportunity to select alternative trains at the same ticket, they wish to travel while booking the tickets. The option will be available also for passengers travelling from stations which are not origins or destinations.
The announcement is a boost to the festive commuters in the country and also the national and international tourists, visiting India, as the Indian railways will now be filling its seats of its select special 'festive' trains in a more streamlined manner.