Rail Budget 2013 promises better e-ticketing, online and with SMS

Rail Budget 2013 promises better e-ticketing, online and with SMS
New Delhi:  A more efficient and people sensitive Railway Services system is being rolled out with Next Generation technology, which would make e-ticketing possible through mobile phones as also provide SMS alerts on reservation status.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that by the end of calendar year, Railways would put in place a Next Generation e-ticketing system which would bring about a "paradigm shift in internet rail ticketing".

Mr Bansal announced in the Lok Sabha that a project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status is being rolled out.

The Minister said this is being done as a follow up to the overwhelming response to the Indian Railway website and Integrated Train Enquiry Service under '139'.

The Railways also plans to cover larger number of trains under Real Time Information System (RTIS), whereby rail users would be able to access information through nominated websites and mobile phones.

The Minister said he had some discussion on potential applications of Aadhar with UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani.

"Today, I look forward expectedly to the use of Aadhar scheme by Indian Railways. The database generated can be extensively and efficiently used by railways not only to render more user friendly services such as booking of tickets, validation of genuine passengers with GPS enabled handheld gadgets in trains," Mr Bansal said.

This would also provide a better interface to the Railways with its employees in regard to their salaries, pension and allowances, he said.

Railways would also extend the facility of internet ticketing from 0030 hours to 2330 hours.

Mr Bansal also listed measures taken to curb malpractices in reserved tickets including Tatkal, such as mandatory carrying of ID cards for passengers and rigorous drive leading to prosecution of more than 1,800 touts in the current year.

Mr Bansal said that the Next Generation technology would significantly improve the e-ticketing system through end user experience in respect of ease of use, response time as well as capacity.

The system shall be able to support 7,200 tickets per minute as against 2,000 tickets per minute today. It would also support 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time against the present capacity of 40,000 users with capability to easily scale up as demand increases in future.

"The system will make use of advanced fraud control and security management tools thereby further improving fairness and transparency in disbursal of tickets," the Minister said.

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