Problems in booking of Tatkal tickets – Minister replied in Parliament
The below Press Release based on the information given by the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabha in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on
Some instances of inconvenience caused to the passengers while booking tatkal tickets do come to the notice of this office. The problems faced by passengers are generally in the nature of accommodation getting exhausted within few minutes of opening of reservation due to high demand during peak rush periods/days, transaction failure while booking or while making the payment, difficulty in log in, forced
log out etc.
Some instances of unscrupulous elements involved in malpractices in selling of reserved tickets, including Tatkal tickets also come to notice. Action against the culprits is taken as per provisions of Section 143 of Railway Act, 1989. During the year 2016 (upto October, 2016) 1567 persons were apprehended/prosecuted under Section 143 of Railway Act, 1989.
However, there are inbuilt features in Tatkal scheme to avoid its misuse which include provision of not granting refund on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal ticket except in case of certain special circumstances indicated in the scheme, not allowing any modification of Tatkal ticket, not allowing authorised ticketing agents to book tickets during first thirty minutes of opening of reservation, allowing only one Tatkal ticket per day per train to authorised ticketing agents, allowing only one booking in one user login session between 0800 hours and 1200 hours except for return/onward journey, allowing individuals to book only two Tatkal tickets per user ID/ per IP address between 1000 hours and 1200 hours, etc. With a view to streamline Tatkal scheme and to avoid its misuse by unscrupulous elements, some additional measures that have been introduced, which are:-
i. Provision of Captcha at the time of Registration, Login and Booking page to check fraudulent booking through automation software.
ii. Imposition of minimum time limit before proceeding to payment gateway as well as after making payment, while booking tickets through internet.
iii. Making OTP (One Time Password) compulsory for all Net Banking Payment options.
iv. A minimum time limit of 35 seconds to book reserved ticket with a view to keep a check on the use of scripted software for cornering of tickets.
v. Authorised ticketing agents have been restricted from booking Tatkal tickets during the first thirty minutes of opening of Tatkal booking i.e. from 1000 hours to 1030 hours and from 1100 hours to 1130 hours for AC and non-AC classes respectively.
vi. Maximum four passengers per PNR for Tatkal Tickets.
vii. Individuals are allowed only two Tatkal tickets per IP Address from 1000 hours to 1200 hours.
viii. Individuals are allowed only two Premium Tatkal tickets per user ID from 1000 Hrs to 1200 Hrs.
ix. Individuals are allowed only two Tatkal tickets per user ID from 1000 hours to 1200 hours.
x. Maximum number of tickets allowed to an individual is six per month.
xi. Only one booking in one user login session except for return/onward journey between 0800 hours and 1200 hours. To do another booking user needs to logout and login again.
To reduce congestion on the IRCTC website for facilitating faster booking of tickets including Tatkal tickets, following measures have been taken:-
i. Installation of additional servers to enhance the ticketing capacity. As a result, the booking capacity of website of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been increased from 7200 tickets per minute to 15000 tickets per minute.
ii. Staggering of the timings of reservation under Tatkal scheme for AC and Non-AC classes thus creating additional capacity available for Tatkal booking.
Further, to facilitate passengers, Indian Railways have also undertaken following initiatives:-
i. Destination SMS Alert has been introduced in select trains to inform passengers who arrive at their destination station between 2300 and 0700 hours about their destination on the mobile numbers given by the passengers at the time of booking of tickets. An SMS alert is sent to the passenger 30 minutes before the destination.
ii. Provision for automatic cancellation of Confirmed/RAC e-tickets and refund of money into the account from which booking transaction was made, in case of cancellation of trains.
iii. Cancellation of confirmed/RAC/waitlisted PRS counter tickets within the permitted time limit under Refund Rule, 2015 through:-
IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in) or 139
The permissible refundable amount can be collected on surrendering original PRS counter tickets within the prescribed time limit.
Further, the ease of ticket booking through internet and accessibility of the website is also dependent on various factors like speed of internet provided by the internet service provider, speed of personal computer, speed of payment gateway (internet banking, credit/debit card etc.).