New Delhi, Nov 1: The Ministry of Railways on Wednesday announced travel benefits for Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees. According to the ministry, Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees can now travel for free in executive class in any train for life. At present, the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra enjoy this privilege.

“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 railway board said in a letter to all zonal railways on October 13, as reported by PTI. However, the decision to raise the entitlements of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees was made in August.

Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awardees, and widows of posthumous gallantry awardees are entitled to lifelong free rail travel in 1st AC Class/2nd AC Class along with one companion over the entire railways’ network except for the Metro Railway, Kolkata.

With the free rail pass, recipients of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra will now be able to travel free of cost with a companion in not only the existing 1st AC coaches but also the executive class on all trains including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.

The executive class is the railways’ version of the business class in an aircraft and is only found on Shatabdi Express trains, Tejas Express and a few Duronto Express trains. Fares of the Shatabdi Express executive class are generally double the normal AC chair car fares.