Two years after official confirmation that the Railway Passenger Insurance Scheme has been discontinued, the Indian Railway’s official website on Railway Claims Tribunal continues to misinform passengers that they are insured. Most railway officials too were unaware that the scheme ceased to exist years ago.
According to a Ministry of Railways communique dated August 4, 2011, minister of state for railways K H Muniyappa informed the Lok Sabha that no insurance cover has been taken after September 20, 2008 and added that the ministry has decided to discontinue the Railway Passenger Insurance Scheme.
According to this expired scheme, any passenger with a valid ticket or pass including platform ticket is insured and they are entitled to a compensation of up to Rs 4lakh in case of any untoward incidents. Interestingly, a majority of the railway officials ‘inform’ the public about this insurance scheme and underline the importance of having a valid ticket within the railway premises.
The insurance scheme introduced in the 1993-94 railway budget was administered by the Railway Claims Tribunal. Even though the Scheme was active between 1994 and 2008, not many knew about it.
Compensation under the scheme is decided as per the Railway Accident and Untoward incidents (Compensation) Rules 1990. It may be noted that ICICI Lombard was the last insurer for this scheme between September 20, 2007 and September 19, 2008.
Though no insurance cover was taken after the date, there was no announcement regarding the scheme for three years. This combined with the outdated website of Railway Claims Tribunal has resulted in confusion among the officials and the public.
When TOI contacted few senior railway officials they too were unaware that the scheme ceased to exist long ago.