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IRCTC saving and shredding paper at the same time


The new look IRCTC website is good. The new rules for booking tickets under the tatkal quota is excellent and one that was requested for a very long time. Keeping out booking agents until a specific was even more exciting. For once, normal people like me were able to get tickets when needed. IRCTC scored a lot of brownie points over the last two months. 

While there are more good things to talk about, there are some things that we cannot neglect.IRCTC introduced “Travel without a printed ticket”

ImageIRCTC amended the rule books that the ticket collectors carry to allow passengers that had screenshots of their tickets or in any other digital form as a valid ticket. So if you had a phone that can display images or read documents, you could just transfer the eticket from your computer on to your phone.

 What IRCTC claimed is that they were able to save at least 300,000 papers a day by doing just this. Yes, but the new tatkal rules changed that.

For every train ticket you booked in the tatkal quota required one of the members to carry one of the listed and approved photo ID card in original along with the ticket. The ID card number was required to be declared at the time of booking a ticket.

While all online ticket reservations were required to input any one of the allowed photo ID details, people booking tickets through railway counters were required to submit a photo copy of their documents along with their booking forms. This meant that IRCTC were wasting more papers than ever.

This then transformed into an additional responsibility for the managers at each of these booking counters. The documents need to be stored for a specific amount of time and then need to be properly shredded; otherwise this could turn into a goldmine to conmen. I wonder if this is being done at each booking counter.

What I don’t understand is the need for a photocopy especially when a person booking the ticket online is not required to upload any document. Three year old’s making these rules? One standard for one customer while a different one for the other? While IRCTC may claim this for keeping out the touts, but it really is not helping the people.

What’s even worse is that the railway department is not reachable. All my emails and phone calls have fallen to deaf ears, and because it is a government institution no one who works for them knows the right department that handles it. So to make a suggestion, you have to complete a treasure hunt where each one of the people you talk to hands you a clue to where the treasure is located.

Having said all of the above, IRCTC is probably one of the best institutions within the government of India manage something of such a large scale online. The website is user friendly and so is the process of booking the tickets. I hope some IRCTC official reads this and takes note. We appreciate the fact of being able to carry a digital copy, but a photo copy at the booking counter is not really necessary.



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