Railways streamlines Tatkal Scheme
The Ministry of Railways has further streamlined the delivery of tickets under Tatkal Scheme and the new amendment in the scheme will come into effect from 10th July 2012.
Under the new amendment the booking of Tatkal tickets will start at 10.00 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station instead of 0800 hours at present. For example, if a train is to depart from the originating station on the 2nd of the month, the Tatkal quota booking both through Internet (IRCTC Website) and reservation counters for that particular train shall open at 1000 hours on the 1st of the month. In addition, it has also been decided that no authorised agents, including agents of IRCTC and RTSAs/RTAs will be allowed to book Tatkal tickets from 1000 hours to 1200 hours from counters as well as from Internet.
At the Zonal Railway and the Divisional Railway level, the local Railway administration is also making arrangements at the reservation counters for orderly implementation of the amendment in the scheme like segregation of Tatkal buyers through separate queues, separate counters etc. as per the local requirement and feasibility. The travelling public is being informed about the new arrangements through Press Releases, Press Advertisements, Announcements and Notice Boards. Moreover, installation of CCTVs in all major booking centres to monitor any unusual activities, inspection of the reservation centres by the senior officers, display of helpline numbers for complaints, raids by the vigilance squads are some of the measures being taken to prevent misuse of Tatkal facility. The requirement of indicating Mobile number of the passenger in the application form is also being insisted to cross verify the genuineness of the passenger.
These new measures are in addition to the previously taken measures to revamp Tatkal system from November 2011. In November 2011, the following measures were introduced to reduce/minimize the possibility of booking of tickets by touts/miscreants and which are still continuing:
1. Advance Reservation Period of Tatkal scheme was reduced from two days excluding the day of journey to one day excluding the day of journey.
2. Refunds are not granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets except in case of special circumstances like late running of train by more than three hours, cancellation of trains etc.
3. Duplicate Tatkal tickets are not issued under normal circumstances. In exceptional cases Duplicate Tatkal tickets can be issued on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges.
4. Tatkal tickets are issued only on production of self attested photocopy of one of the 9 prescribed proofs of Identity mentioned in the scheme, at the computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter. While booking e-ticket, the passenger has to indicate the number of identity card in the system. The passenger is required to carry the same proof of Identity during the journey.
5. A restriction of booking of a maximum of four passengers per PNR on Tatkal ticket has been imposed.
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking of Ministry of Railways which manages Railways e-ticketing website namely www.irctc.co.in has also implemented following additional steps to streamline Tatkal ticket bookings:
1. High capacity Database servers have been installed.
2. Internet Bandwidth has been increased from 344 mbps to 450 mbps
3. Single user registration on one e-mail ID with email verification has been implemented.
4. Mobile validation of users and single user registration on one mobile number has been implemented.
5. Web service agents have been permitted to book only one Tatkal ticket per train per day on internet after 12.00 A.M.
6. Individual users are permitted to book only two tickets between 10.00 A.M. to 12.00 A.M.
7. Only two tickets can be booked per IP address between 10-12 AM. IP address check has helped in preventing multiple bookings from same office complex/internet café etc. This also helps in facilitating bookings by genuine users and prevents bookings for commercial gains.
8. Single session per user ID check has been implemented. With this step, a user on irctc.co.in will be able to open his account for booking of e-tickets only once. Multiple sessions with single user ID cannot be opened thereby enabling maximum users to access website and reduce congestion.
9. Captcha has been put and strengthened for booking in the ‘Plan My Travel’ to check fraudulent booking through automation software.
(CAPTCHAs is a technology used in attempts to prevent automated software from performing actions which degrade the quality of service of a given system)
10. Quick Book Option and Cash Cards option has been stopped between 10.00 A.M. to 12.00 A.M.
11. An IT-Anti Fraud Squad has been created at Internet Ticketing Centre to detect cases of fraud and fraudulent activity and also for constant cyberspace surveillance to detect possible threats to the system.
12. Upon receipt of complaint against the sub-agent, the user –id is deactivated and the sub-agent is black-listed. The details of the black-listed agent are put on the IRCTC website. All the Principal Agents have been instructed not to take on such black-listed agents.
13. For any complaint, against the e-ticket agents, one may contact firstname.lastname@example.org (011-23745962) or email@example.com (011-39340000)
14. The Ministry of Railways has also initiated steps to augment e-ticket handling capacity of its website through short term and long term measures. Both IRCTC and CRIS are working jointly in this direction. Due to these steps, the present e-ticket capacity will increase from existing about 3.5 lakh bookings to around 5 lakh bookings per day in about four months period in the short term which will further be increased to about 8 lakh bookings per day in the long term plan.