PANAJI: In a bold move, the Ministry of Railways has announced its ambitious goal of eliminating waiting lists entirely in 4-5 years. Sources within the ministry revealed a comprehensive plan to address the increasing demand, particularly for general and sleeper-class coaches.
Sources said that from April to October 2023, the data indicates a significant shift in passenger distribution.
Non-AC coaches, including General and Sleeper classes, witnessed a staggering 95.3% of the total passengers carried, totaling a remarkable 372 crore passengers. This marks a substantial increase of 38 crore passengers compared to the previous year, emphasising the growing preference for economical travel options.
Sources further said that, in contrast, AC coaches accommodated 4.7% of the total passengers carried, summing up to 18.2 crore travellers. Notably, this represents a notable increase of 3.1 crore passengers compared to the previous year.
The overall surge in passenger numbers amounted to 41.1 crore, representing a 92.5% increase in non-AC passengers (general & sleeper class). This shift underscores a changing trend in passenger preferences towards more budget-friendly travel options.
Sources informed that to meet this escalating demand, Indian Railways has significantly expanded its services.
In comparison to pre-COVID days, an additional 562 trains are now operational on a daily basis across the IR network.
This expansion encompasses various categories, with mail/express trains increasing from 1,768 to 2,122, suburban trains from 5,626 to 5,774, and passenger trains from 2,792 to 2,852, resulting in a total of 10,748 trains running each day.
This proactive approach by the Ministry of Railways not only addresses the current surge in demand but also lays the groundwork for achieving a future where waiting lists become a thing of the past, ensuring a smoother and more efficient travel experience for millions of passengers. (Agencies)