A family of five sitting around a pile of suitcases, handbags, holdalls, chattering happily, waiting for the train, and a group of coolies throwing voracious glares on the luggage. A sight too familiar at almost all the railway stations in India. However, if you are someone who likes to pack everything from the favourite pair of suit to grandmom's pickle and carry them, your days of happiness are coming to an end soon!
The Indian Railways will now charge you for excess baggage, once it exceeds the set limit. A sleeper class and a second class passenger can carry 40 kg and 35 kg respectively. With extra payment, the limit would be 80 kg and 70 kg respectively. An AC first class passenger can carry up to 70 kg and an AC second class passenger will be able to take up to 50 kg. After paying the fine, the limit would be 150 kg and 100 kg respectively.
"The rules were already in place, we are just enforcing them strictly now. Passengers are allowed to book and carry excess luggage in the luggage van, up to the maximum limit, on the payment of a fee equivalent to one-and-a-half times the luggage rate,” said Ved Prakash, Director, Information and Publicity, Railway Board.
"If a passenger is found travelling with un-booked luggage weighing more than the free allowance, the excess weight will be charged six times the luggage rate. The move is to ensure passenger convenience and address the issue of cramped compartments," he added.
This has come into being after the Railway received too many complaints of excess luggage tugged into rail compartments.