Some changes have been made to tatkal rules. Tatkal booking will now start only 1 day before journey date. Earlier this was 2 days. For example, if you need to book a tatkal ticket for your journey on Nov 17 you have to book your ticket on Nov 16 and not Nov 15th as it was previously. This was announced by minister Dinesh Trivedi on November 12, 2011.There will be no refund on confirmed tatkal tickets.At the time of booking we are required to provide the details of the identity card we would be carrying at the time of journey. The reservation chart will contain the details of the identity card being carried. You can also book only 4 berths per tatkal ticket as opposed to 6 earlier.
These new rules have been introduced to prevent misuse of tatkal by agents and louts. Whether these will actually prevent misuse remains to be seen. The idea of the ministry is to allow only genuine passengers to book tatkal tickets in case of emergency.
If you have booked a waiting list ticket and are waiting for it to get confirmed (or not) to book a tatkal ticket, then the extra one day will help you. Most of the cancellations happen in the last 2 - 3 days before the journey. Now this will make it easier to decide if we want to book a tatkal ticket or not.
The stricter rules also mean that you need to make sure beforehand which identity card you'll be carrying with you. Previously, booking an online ticket required the user to give the identity card details at the time of booking the ticket. The Railways amended this rule allowing any one passenger to carry an identity card. No longer was the identity card details required at the time of booking. Now we have a situation where the identity card details are required at the time of booking for Tatkal tickets only.
So take extra care when you book a tatkal ticket from now. Do check if you can get the ticket through the general quota.
Update : As per the latest notification in the IRCTC site -
1. The Advance Reservation Period (ARP) of Tatkal scheme is reduced from two days to one day excluding the day of journey from the train originating station. For example, if train is to depart from the originating station on the second of the month, the Tatkal quota booking for that particular train will open at 08:00 hrs on the first of the month from originating station.
2. For booking Tatkal e-tickets, the passenger shall enter the ID proof type and number, which is to be used for travel. These details will be printed on the ERS/VRM as well as in the reservation chart.
3. During the journey, the passenger, whose identity card number has been indicated on the ticket, will have to produce original proof of identity indicated on the ticket, failing which all the passengers booked on the ticket shall be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.
- Maximum of four passengers per PNR can be booked on Tatkal e-tickets.
5. No refund will be granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal ticket except in case of circumstance mentioned in para 2 of instructions contained in Commercial Circular no. 53 of 2006 issued vide letter no. 2006/TGI-I/20/P/Tatkal, dated 30.06.2006.