Indian Railways to Strictly Enforce Excess Luggage Rules with Heavy Finesby Opinion Express June 7, 2018 0 comments
The Railways deciding to enforce excess luggage rules stating that passengers have to pay up to six times the stipulated penalty if they caught travelling with overweight baggage.
In a controversial move the Indian Railways has decided to target passengers who carry far above and beyond their allotted luggage capacity. One of the reasons many passengers choose to use the Railways is because of the large amount of personal luggage they can carry. However, the Railway authorities have a point when they say that this move is to go after those individuals who abuse the system by carrying far more than they are allowed to. Incidentally, passengers on board trains can legally carry only between 35-70 kilograms depending on the class of travel. The Railways have also decided to act against those who carry large cartons and oversize luggage by stipulating that the maximum dimensions for a piece of luggage will be equivalent to a regular trunk.
There is a genuine concern by some passengers though, there sra espace hoarders, travellers whose luggage use up the entire underfloor space for luggage and whose oversize luggage often end up blocking corridors. This is not only an inconvenience to other passengers but also a safety hazard as well as symptomatic of the overall selfish behaviour of many Indians when they travel.
However, the railways cannot just stipulate this without making it easier for passengers to load their luggage in the luggage van, especially as they have limited space and many intermediate halts that Express trains make are usually far too short for luggage to be loaded and unloaded quickly.
And even though the luggage booking charges can be considered minimal, a charge of Rs 109 for booking 40kgs within 500 kilometers, it can be a huge hit to the many lower-income people who travel by train. It is one thing for airlines to charge for excess luggage, especially at these times of higher fuel costs where every additional kilogram on a plane can make a world of difference, on a train weighing thousands of tons, a few extra kilograms will make no difference to the operating costs of the train and this initiative by the railways will only generate needless controversy instead of much additional income. This follows a series of questionable decisions by the Indian Railways, including the move to differential fares in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, which ended up alienating passengers forcing some into the hands of India’s low-cost carriers. It might have made more sense for the Railways to begin a consumer education campaign on the risks of too much luggage before starting the fines. This might end up angering many travellers, particularly those who have no option but to travel by train.
Courtesy: The Pioneer