Recipients of the prestigious Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awards can now enjoy the lifelong privilege of travelling in the executive class of any train.
With this benefit, the awardees are on par with their Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra counterparts, who were bestowed with the free travel passes for 1st AC Class/Executive Class as early as in 2014.
According to Times of India, the decision to raise the entitlements of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees was stipulated in August and later motioned by the railway board to all zonal railways through a letter issued on October 13.
“Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees will now onwards be entitled to the same free rail travel facilities as admissible to the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees,” the letter stated.
Previously, the recipients of Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awardees, along with the widows of posthumous gallantry awardees were entitled to lifelong free rail travel in 1st AC Class/2nd AC Class, who could take along one companion.
The provision extends over the entire railway’s network except for the Metro Railway, Kolkata.
As the new benefit gets ensued, the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees will be able to not just travel with a companion in the existing 1st AC coaches for free but also do the same in the executive class on all trains including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.
Touted to be the Indian Railways’ equivalent of the business class in an aircraft, the executive class coach is present in only select trains like the Shatabdi Express, Tejas Express and a few Duronto Express trains.