Self Tatkal Ticket counters for passengers who book tickets personally.

Buying tatkal train tickets at the Computerised Passenger Reservation Centres in Chennai has been made hassle-free as the Railways has earmarked exclusive counters for passengers who book tickets for themselves.

The new initiative, christened ‘Self Tatkal Ticket Windows’ will sell one ticket per passenger, who come in person, for one hour from the start of booking at 10 am every day. Each ticket can have a maximum of four passengers.

“We want to give priority for the passenger, who comes in person to book ticket at the reservation centre,” a senior Southern Railway official told ‘Express’.

“The system is being introduced in Chennai Division, after its initial success at Mumbai. Self Tatkal Ticket Windows are available at the Madurai and Salem Divisions as well,” the officer added.

“A chunk among those waiting in the queue would be the representatives of actual passengers, like office-subordinates or relatives. This affects the prospects of an actual traveller waiting in the queue for long hours to get confirmed ticket,” another official said.

With this new system, commuters can visit the reservation counters just an hour before the bookings start. The actual passenger could be identified at the booking stage itself as the person has to carry a valid identity proof to buy ticket from the designated counter. Tatkal booking opens one day before the actual date of journey and it is a big relief for people who are willing to pay a premium to travel in emergency situations.

Though tatkal booking facility is available online, passengers complain that they are unable to do it on the website during the rush hours.

Tatkal booking process streamlined

Railway officials say the organization has taken several measures to prevent touts cornering berths at passenger reservation system (PRS) centres. They also say that improvements have been made to the website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

“Under a new system, tatkal tickets will be sold between 10am and noon,” said a railway officer. “No authorized agents, including those of the IRCTC, will be allowed to book tatkal tickets in this period the counter or online.”

He said booking periods have been segregated to ensure that reservation queues for the opening date (120 days before the date of journey) do not clash with tatkal dates. “On the IRCT website, individual users are now permitted to book only two tickets from 10am to noon. Also, only two tickets can be booked from a particular IP address in this period.”

A few days ago, Western Railway introduced the concept of self tatkal ticket counters, where a person can book tatkal tickets only for himself or if he is part of a travelling party. WR has also made photo identity cards compulsory at PRS centres for those who seek to make bookings under the tatkal scheme. “If someone is not travelling himself, but booking tickets on somebody else’s behalf, he would have to bring a self-attested photocopy of the ID of the person for whom the booking would be done,” a railway official said.

The railways is also planning to introduce biometric technology in three months in the Mumbai division, again to bar touts. To cater to demand during summer holidays, Central Railway has decided to regulate post-midnight queues outside all PRS centres.

Now, separate form for tatkal bookings to check misuse

Stepping up efforts to check misuse of tatkal bookings, Railways today said a separate reservation form for passengers booking tickets under this scheme will be introduced soon.

The pink colour form has to be filled up by the passenger at the booking counters providing details of his/her address, contact number and ID.

At present a single requisition form is available for booking both normal and tatkal tickets.

The form also carries a set of warnings including deboarding at the next station, imposition of fine or imprisonment as per provisions of Railway Act if address and other details furnished are found to be false.

Announcing the move, GM Northern Railway V K Gupta said more than five lakh multiple personal IDs and 44,000 IDs created by agents have been deactivated since February 2011 by the IT anti-fraud team of IRCTC as part of efforts to check misuse of ticketing service.

Opening time of tatkal booking was changed from 8 am to 10 am earlier this year.

Gupta said 62 pairs of special trains would be run this festive season to clear the rush of passengers.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in major city stations with augmentation of workforce and ensuring proper crowd management, he said.

The arrangements also include timely placements of the rake at the platform and keeping a check on elements cornering seats in coaches.

Tatkal scheme yields good revenue for rlys

PATNA: Tatkal facility, which has been introduced in each mail and express train running across the country, has been yielding good revenue to the railways, particularly for East Central Railway (ECR) during peak summer.

Only 10% of the total berths are reserved for Tatkal booking in sleeper class in each mail and express train. On an average about 200 to 280 berths have been earmarked for Tatkal booking in sleeper class for Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Howrah-bound passenger trains from Patna Junction.

Under the scheme, wait-listed passengers procuring their tickets at least two days in advance are availing Tatkal facility these days. The Tatkal facility is made available 48 hours before journey. The railways has been charging an additional Rs 300 for AC-2 and AC-3 for each Tatkal ticket while a sum of Rs 75 to Rs 100 is being charged for sleeper class for each ticket. These charges are applicable during the peak months from September 16 to July 14.

However, the railways is charging extra Rs 200 for AC class and Rs 75 for sleeper class for each passenger during non-peak months starting from July 15 to September 15, a Railway Board official said.

According to the official, the Tatkal scheme has evoked good response from passengers yielding good revenue to the railways. The Board has already implemented this scheme, particularly in those zones where utilization of Tatkal accommodation has been less than 50% in sleeper class, he said adding reservation under Tatkal scheme is now available till the time of preparing reservation chart.

According to sources, the number of berths in sleeper has been not more than 10% now under Tatkal booking while it is 20 to 30 berths in AC-2 and AC-3 respectively depending on availability of AC coaches in any particular train. Similarly, several long-distance trains originating from Patna Junction, Rajendra Nagar Terminal and Danapur stations have been able to cope with rush of passengers under Tatkal scheme, sources said.

According to Danapur PRO Ranjit Kumar Singh, Patna Junction has become main centre for procuring Tatkal tickets for any station. Tatkal tickets, which were earlier not refunded, are now being refunded after deduction of 25% of the total fare. Incidentally, Tatkal tickets are being issued from the originating to midway stations now, he said adding there is no need for an identity card now for purchasing Tatkal tickets. It is on ‘first come, first serve basis’, the PRO said.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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