After news reports indicated that children between the ages of one and four were suddenly being charged adult fees, the Railways on Wednesday clarified that there had been no change to the law regarding booking tickets for youngsters travelling by train.
According to a Ministry of Railways memo dated March 6, 2020, children under the age of five are entitled to free transportation. A separate berth or seat (in the chair car) is not required in that scenario, it was stated.
However, if a passenger needs berths or seats for a child under the age of five, they can purchase tickets. The full adult fare will be applied in that situation.
Recent media sources assert that Indian Railways has revised the policy regarding the purchase of tickets for youngsters riding in trains. According to these reports, youngsters between the ages of one and four would now need a ticket in order to ride the train.
“These news items and media reports are misleading. It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children travelling in the train.
“‘On the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5-year-old child if they want. And if they don’t want a separate berth, then it is free, same like it used to be earlier,” the statement from Railways said.
Earlier, the news reports had led to angry reactions from a section.
“We should thank the BJP government, which is now charging one-year-old children for travelling in trains, that they are not charging pregnant women for an extra ticket.
“The Railways is no longer for the poor. Now people will cut full ticket of BJP,” Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet.