Indian Railways to launch VIKALP

| Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 19:28
First Published |
VIKALP: Alternate train accommodation scheme

VIKALP: Alternate train accommodation scheme

New Delhi: Indian Railways will launch "alternate train accommodation scheme" (ATAS) called "VIKALP" on Sunday to provide confirmed accommodation to wait-listed passengers, ministry of railways announced on Saturday.
"With a view to provide confirmed accommodation to wait-listed passengers and also to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation, "alternate train accommodation scheme" (ATAS) called "VIKALP" has been conceptualised and is to be introduced from tomorrow (Sunday)," the ministry of railways said in a statement. 
It added that initially this scheme will be available only for the tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) as a pilot project for six months.
This scheme would be provided on mail/express trains running on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors of Northern Railway, it added.
"In this scheme, wait listed passengers of a train will be given option for getting confirmed accommodation in alternate trains. This is a major passenger-friendly move to provide confirmed accommodation to wait-listed passengers in alternate trains," the statement said.
"No extra charges shall be taken from passenger or any refund shall be provided for difference of fare and applicable to all waiting list passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession."
ATAS opted passengers who remain fully wait-listed after charting will only be considered for allotment in the alternate train and passengers opting for ATAS should check PNR status after charting.
The passenger allotted alternate accommodation can travel in the alternate train on authority of original ticket.
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The concept originated from a remote village of Bihar.

This ‘Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme i.e. Vikalp’ scheme is based on Sri Abhyuday’s, PhD scholar IIT Kharagpur, novel research paper titled ‘Route Oriented Waiting List Passenger Management in Indian Railways’ which had been presented at Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur on Research Scholar Day on 24.7.2012. Later this concept of facilitating waiting list passengers to alternative train having same O-D pair (origin-destination) was reviewed by an International Scientific Committee of International Association of Railway Operation Research (IAROR) on 16.10.12 with remarks “It is an interesting problem, and may be interesting to other countries as well Very important topic for some Asian railway operators, where high captive public transport demand structurally and/or seasonally exceeds transport capacity. New approach to manage the constraints of existing ticket reservation/booking systems.” Later this novel research (co-author Dr. K. K. Guin & Dr. A Sarkar) has been presented by Sri Abhyuday (Mob: 9771462414) at Denmark Technical University, Denmark in an international conference “Rail Copenhagen 2013” on 15 May, 2013. This proposed global waiting list (GWL) model has been validated taking data of 07 routes of Indian railways network including Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Amritsar. It is a matter of pride for IIT Kharagpur as well as Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical And Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur as their researcher’s work has been suggested (in Toto) into industrial use.

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