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NFR secures 5th place among other railways in terms of Passenger Reservation Facility

 It started 24 Years ago in the year 1991 when the first Passenger Reservation Centre was opened in Guwahati o­n 22.03.1991. Today N. F. Railway is operating 132 numbers of Passenger Reservation Centres covering, District Head Quarters, Tourist places and fur flung areas of the North-Eastern states. Although, N.F.Railway accounts for o­nly 3.19% of the total passenger earnings and 1.19% of the total passenger carried by the Indian Railway,  it is placed at 5th position among the 16 Zones as regards “Point of Operation” i.e. Passenger Reservation facility.

On the passenger front an average of 37,200 Reserved and 2, 20,000 unreserved passengers originate from N.F.Railway daily thereby generating railway revenue of Rs. 4.25 crores.

                N. F. Railway is dedicated to cater to the reservation needs of the people staying in the remotest corners of North Eastern Region. The Railway with its sheer determination commissioned the 1st Non-Railhead PRS (non rail head PRS is o­ne which is located in an area which is without railway connectivity) at Shillong (Meghalaya) in the year 1996 by directly linking with Kolkata Network hub that too when no internet access was available. This paved the way for o­nline Railway Reservation to the people residing in places outside the railway network. This facility has now been extended to all the state capitals and has largely benefitted the local residents of all the north eastern states.

N. F. Railway holds the distinction of establishing Passenger Reservation Centre at an altitude of 13200 Ft. in Thegu (Sikkim) o­n 04.01.2003 which is the highest altitude for any Passenger Reservation Centre.

                With the commitment towards defence personnel serving the border area of this Region, N.F.Railway has opened 23 exclusive Defence Passenger Reservation Centres which are manned by defence personnel themselves. These centres are located at the most difficult terrains and bordering areas where even daily access to market is restricted.

To serve the people of places which are yet to have rail connectivity this railway in co-ordination with the state governments has commissioned 30 Passenger Reservation Centres at various District headquarters and sub-divisional areas under the operation of State Transport Departments. 

                To serve the growing tourism industry of this region, Passenger Reservation Centres have also been opened in tourist places like Darjeeling Station (a UNESCO Heritage site) in West Bengal, Gangtok in Sikkim, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Shillong in Meghalaya, and Majuli in Assam etc to facilitate the tourists.

                In its endeavour to enable easy access to the intending passengers residing in unprivileged area “India Post PRS” has been made operational at 16 Post Offices over N.F.Railway. The general public has been immensely blessed as the post offices have been turned into o­ne stop destination for multipurpose activities i.e. Payment of  Insurance Premium, Letters, Post office banking , etc besides railway ticketing, saving their valuable time. The Teaching & student   fraternity of this region have also benefitted with the installation of India Post PRS at IIT Guwahati Post Office o­n 30.03.2009. This has also immensely benefitted the locals of the North Guwahati area who had to travel all the way to Kamakaya or Guwahati station for their reservation needs.

                With a view to reach & serve every corner of this region this Railway operates 63 Passenger Reservation Centres exclusively manned by Railway staff of which 60 are located at stations and three at places of importance.

Air passengers alighting at the International Airport at Guwahati (LGBI) have been facilitated by the installation of PRS within the airport premises. The interface of air traffic and surface traffic at this airport has leveraged the tourism significantly. o­ne PRS also functions inside Assam State Secretariat in Dispur.

With rise in the public preference for Rail transport and to facilitate travel of inhabitants residing in and around small stations to various parts outside North East this railway has extended the facility of both reserved and unreserved ticketing from the same window by installation of UTS- cum – PRS. This has eased the accessibility to the passengers towards comfortable and convenient travelling. As of now 99 stations have been provided with this facility.

The unreserved segment has also been brought under the ambit of computerisation with the introduction of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) o­n 31-03-2005.  As o­n date 378 stations have been provided with the facility which accounts for 99% of the sanctioned locations (380). This has facilitated advance booking upto three days for unreserved tickets beyond 200 KMs thereby doing away with last moment rush.

(Pranav Jyoti Sharma)

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