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Suresh Prabhu launches IRCTC’s ‘takeaway e-bedroll’ facility

A man looks at a notice board inside the information centre at Tundla Junction railway station in Uttar Pradesh October 24, 2012. Almost all rail operations in India are handled by state-owned organisation Indian Railways - one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world operating 9,000 passenger trains and transporting up to 20 million passengers every day. Indian Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will unveil the railway budget on February 26, 2013 amid speculation that the government could raise fares for the second time in two months to help mend the network's finances. Picture taken October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar (INDIA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY TRANSPORT) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 23 OF 42 FOR PACKAGE 'RIDING INDIA'S RAILWAYS' SEARCH 'NAVESH RAILWAYS' FOR ALL IMAGES - RTR3E99Q

New Delhi : The Railway Ministry has given the go-ahead to the pilot project of E-Bedroll that allows passengers to avail bedroll kits through online booking and from over the counter at select outlets set up by the IRCTC on the stations.

The facility was inaugurated remotely by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from his office today for two stations in the national capital – New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin.

Earlier, on February 7, the minister had inaugurated the facility at Chennai Central station – the day it was also launched at Thiruvananthapuram station by its Divisional Railway Manager (DRM).

Passengers can avail this facility by paying Rs. 140 for two bed sheets and a pillow and Rs. 110 for a blanket. These can be purchased together at a cost of Rs. 250 or can be purchased separately.

The facility can be availed by passengers having confirmed e-tickets at the time of ticketing or up to four hours prior to the scheduled departure of the train on the basis of online payment.

Online booking of bedroll kits will also be offered to confirmed passengers other than e-ticket holders up to four hours prior to the scheduled departure of the train. The booked bedroll will be supplied at the berth of the passenger by IRCTC.

The facility has also been made available at select IRCTC outlets at the stations from where it can be purchased over the counter, by the passengers.

IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr. A K Manocha said the facility is available to both Sleeper and AC class passengers.

“A unique feature of the scheme is that the bedroll is a takeaway facility and passengers can take it home. Instructions in this regard will be clearly mentioned on the non-woven sealed carry bag,” he pointed out.

Dr Manocha said that under the existing arrangement, bedrolls are provided only in AC classes in trains. Now there is arrangement for sleeper class passenger to get a takeaway bedroll kit at highly concessional price. Moreover if a passenger of AC class likes to buy a fresh bedroll he may opt for this service.

“We will expand this facility at more stations after evaluating the performance of the project and the feedback it receives within six months,” he informed. “We hope the e-bedroll facility will further upscale and supplement our passenger-facilities in a unique way.” (ANI)