Indian Railways has a great option to help passengers get a confirmed seat in an alternate train if a waitlisted ticket doesn't make it to the confirmed list. This can be done by opting for the 'Vikalp' scheme. This scheme is particularly handy during the festival season or school holiday season when getting a confirmed seat becomes next to impossible.
Assume you have a waitlisted ticket for a train from Delhi to Hyderabad. The chart has been prepared and you are still on the waitlist, meaning your reservation hasn’t been confirmed and you can't travel. But, if you have opted for IRCTC’s Vikalp (the word means ‘option’) Scheme, chances are, you could travel on the next train that will go to Hyderabad from Delhi.
What is the Vikalp Scheme?
The Vikalp scheme, also known as alternate train accommodation scheme (ATAS), was launched in 2015 to make sure available berths are optimally used. It enables waitlisted passengers of any train to choose confirmed berth in other trains.
A waitlisted passenger can also get alternate accommodation in Rajdhani or Shatabdi trains.
Things to remember
• This scheme is applicable to passengers of all trains and classes.
• Passengers can opt for a maximum of seven trains under the Vikalp scheme. The trains plying within a time period of 12 hours from the departure time of the originally booked train are considered for the scheme.
• The scheme is applicable to all waitlisted passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession.
• No extra charges are taken from passengers when a reservation is provided in another train.
• No refund of fare is provided for the difference in fare.
• Passengers who have opted for this scheme and have been provided with a seat in the alternate train will not figure in the waitlisted chart of the original train. A separate list of passengers transferred to an alternate train will be pasted along with the ‘Confirmed’ and ‘Waitlist’ charts.
• Once a passenger has been provided alternate accommodation on another train, the passenger can’t board the original train.
• Once you opt for the Vikalp option, you can always upgrade to a higher class in the new train by paying the difference of fare. For example, originally you booked a 3 AC ticked but under Vikalp scheme you got a berth in the Sleeper Class. You can upgrade to 3 AC in the new train. But you don’t have to pay any extra fare for the default allocation of the ticket on a new train. You pay extra fare only when you choose to upgrade your berth.
• If a Vikalp-opted passenger gets a reservation on a new train but opts to cancel the new train ticket, the passenger will have to pay the cancellation charges as per the rules of cancelling a confirmed ticket.
• Vikalp scheme once successfully opted can’t be changed.
• Vikalp scheme is applicable only for those tickets that have been booked through IRCTC website. As soon as the chart is prepared and if your ticket is still waitlisted, you will get an SMS informing about the activation of Vikalp option. Thereafter your new train, coach and berth numbers will be shared.
• A passenger has the option to either choose Vikalp option and travel in another train or cancel the existing ticket.
How to book a ticket under Vikalp scheme?
• Log on to the IRCTC website.
• Fill up the form to book your ticket as is normally done.
• Once you get an option ‘Opt for Vikalp’, you can tick the box.
• A pop-up box then emerges on your screen. This will provide you with rules related to Vikalp scheme.
• Then you tick ‘I agree’ and opt for Vikalp scheme.
• Go to payment option and make payment of your ticket fare.
• If a passenger has been provided alternate accommodation under this scheme, he/she should check PNR status after charting.
• This information is available via the call centre (139), PRS Enquiry counters and through web enquiry on www.indianrail.gov.in
Updated Date: Aug 19, 2019 14:01:52 IST