New Tatkal rules – What is missing?

We all know the misuse of Tatkal scheme by agents and booking clerk, but it came recently in light when TV and news channel highlighted it by their investigation.We all seen how ticket agents with the help of booking clerk are buying the tatkal tickets and sell it to passengers at 10 times the price.After 2-3 news channel aired it, the Government finally awakes and came with some new rules.But are these new rule will really help passengers, lets see.

  • New Timings for Tatkal ticket (Now at 10:00 am instead of 8:00 am) – What really does it matter?When the timing was 8 in the morning we have seen people coming in queue at around 4:00 am (and before)so still the situation remain same.Will it change?Railway is saying that it will prohibit tout to get bulk tickets.We still have to see how it stop that.
  • No Irctc or other agents will be allowed to book tickets from 10:00 am to 12:00 am – This rule was before too at 8:00 am to 10:00 am, but it stops nothing as agents with the help of booking clerk were booking bulk ticket.We also seen in news as broker with maximum amount will get the help of booking clerk on that day.How railway will put a check on that?
  • All counters will be made exclusive for tatkal from 10:00 to 10:30 – This was the best option Railways comes with, I appreciate it.It means the tatkal will remain intact and also other normal reservation counters will be converted to tatkal from 10:00.This may become little problem for normal booking, but nevertheless its a good decision.
  • CCTV will be installed, Booking personnel can’t carry cellphone – My personal question to Railway is, is it possible?How many reservation centers we have in India and how many counters there?Railway will install CCTV everywhere?If not why this lie?Why not first they repaired all those dead CCTV across the major stations.Most of them were not working or their image quality is so bad that you can’t even recognize the human faces.Baring mobile phones for booking clerk will help a little but still they can exchange chits with agents(they will always find a loophole for this).
  • Phone numbers for complain will be displayed – Funny no?Railway thinks about it so late?Nevertheless it will help passengers to complain in case they feel any issue.But I am not sure how much it will help and how many will call to that numbers.Unfortunately we have been asked to trust our system , that what we can do!

Now what Railways should have included in new rules?

  • Improve online Booking system – Instead of improving counter reservation system why not improve irctc( Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) Indian railway online ticket system?At exact time when tatkal starts at 10:00 am know it is dead.It display service unavailable most of time.Railway says that it can execute 2000-3000 transaction per minute but it get request of about Why not it increases its nos of servers.According to one estimate only from cancelling of confirmed tickets railways earns hundred of crores rupees.Where it goes?Railway should keep increasing its numbers of servers and best option would be to add servers in every major zone of railway(like North,east,south east etc)As numbers of trains and population increases we need more servers to take load of it.
  • Booking kiosk machine of tickets – We often face problem while booking tickets at home as internet has some slowness or have problems while connection as still we don’t have broadband connection everywhere.So railway can install some self kiosk machine at its railway station so that a user can book its ticket themselves just like they can book platform ticket or check PNR status.This will educate common man about online ticket system and reduces little load on reservation counter.People still go to reservation counter as most of the time Irctc won’t work or have failed transaction.
  • Put check for automate request – This fact also came after news channel investigation.Ticket agents uses some software which flood Irctc with number of automated request making it impossible for genuine user to book ticket online.Irctc can use captcha or some tools to track it and block that particular IP.
  • Make lighter version of Irctc – Irctc website is one of its best but I still feel It can be improved.There should be a lighter version for slow net connection.As still we don’t have broadband in major part of India so a lighter version of Irctc will help all mobile and modem connection customer.

Remember India is a developing country, Government should and must invest more in providing infrastructure services.We are providing one of the best software services, but still lacking in providing basis infrastructure services, law and order.Just by twisting and changing times won’t help much.We need to aware people about online ticketing and make a suitable system for that.I am waiting for the time when Reservation counter system will have almost no role to play in booking railway ticket.

  • I read this entire block of your. Its true and fact. I wish the mass should read it and know the facts. Good job done Ravi, congrats

  • It is good sign of government, they are taking some positive action at least. If railways improve on server infrastructure and mobile booking, then it will ease the whole process. People not need to go to counters to book tickets. It will also help to railways to server better way to people on counters. Not need too many booking counter for this. Simply give power to people. I really appreciate, if they come up with light weight website version of irctc for slow internet users. +1 to @ravi for this idea.

    • Thanks for comments Durgaram , but stopping agents won’t solve the problem. we need to make sure only authorized agents will be allowed to book ticket.

  • Whatever railway earned till date with cancellation of ticket went into MLA’s pocket and used for Pratibha Patils’s foreign family trip… LOL

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