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News Entry# 75567  
Jun 02 2012 (11:11AM)  IRCTC's snail-paced e-ticketing procedure makes things complex - The Times of India (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)

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News Entry# 75567     
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Posted by: Gopal**  2584 news posts  
LUCKNOW: Summer rush, limited seats and endless wait are enough to dampen your holiday mood. And if these were not enough, then the latest entrant to the list is the IRCTC's snail-paced e-ticketing procedure that instead of simplifying things makes them more complex and at times impossible to handle. The Tatkal system of booking, which was introduced for the benefit of the passengers, who decide to travel at the eleventh hour makes things more difficult, instead of simplifying them.
The common complaint of the people to whom TOI spoke was that the online booking of tickets which took five minutes earlier, now consumes at least two hours because of problems like network failure or slow network and unavailability of services. Monika Tripathi, an executive in a private company had to go to Delhi for an urgent work last month. She tried
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IRCTC, but in vain. "I had to cancel the process midway, as it was taking long. The website hanged several times during the booking process. I had to quit, as I was getting late for the office," she said. The next day, she took a boarded a Delhi-bound bus.
Interestingly, clicking the 'book' icon, which appears during e-ticketing on IRCTC's webpage does not guarantee that the ticket has been actually booked. "At times, even after completing the entire booking procedure, the website at the end displays message 'service currently unavailable'. And, then one has to go through the entire process again," rued Rita Mishra, a working women. Kriti Mishra, a teacher, complained that two hours booking time for Tatkal service is very less. There is a heavy traffic as soon as the e-booking window opens. As a result, the network moves slowly. And, by the time you reach at the end of booking process, all tickets are sold out," she said.
Also, several people complained that often the amount is deducted during the online payment but tickets are not booked. "This problem should be solved otherwise IRCTC will lose its customers," they said. Tarun Pandey, a technical professional, said, "Sometimes it takes two days to book a ticket. Money is deducted from the bank account several times to book a single ticket successfully." Arun Paliwal, a bank cashier, said, "I don't understand why Railways is not making any efforts to improve the IRCTC website as promised by them. For last several days, the website is either slow or there are connectivity problems."
Railway authorities, when contacted, said that problems occur mainly because thousands of people login at the same time, which eventually leads to server crash due to heavy traffic. Pradip Kundu, joint general manager, public relation, IRCTC, said, "Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation has taken several steps to improve the service. Besides deactivating unused IDs to lessen the burden on the website, he said, an anti-fraud squad has been formed at Internet Ticketing Centre for round the clock surveillance to detect possible threats to the system. Booking application through mobile phone is also available.
The process of e-ticketing was first envisaged in 2002 by the Indian Railways through Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Swati Sharma
Times View
It was a successful attempt to empower rail travellers which also saved them from long queues at reservation counters and the clutches of touts. With the passage of time, one thought the IRCTC's online ticketing facility would only get better. However, ten years after its launch, this facility is offering more pain to its users than any improvement. Now, that a large number of travellers have become online converts, such inexplicable glitches in the service amounts to their sheer harassment and reflects callousness of the Railways authorities. If the IRCTC does not take corrective measures urgently, it will inadvertently push travellers into the trap of unscrupulous agents.
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