Online ticketing booking for traveling aboard Indian Railways will be a pleasant & hassle-free experience from next year onwards, the IRCTC has assured. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had been planning a major overhaul to the portal & the same is expected to be completed by early next year.
They are trying to separate the search & booking functions. To speed up the buying process for regular visitors, the site will also feature an e-wallet option. A while back we had heard that site was being fortified to handle 7,50,000 transactions a day. Presently, the site is being stretched way beyond its capacity as it is used to book more than half of the 8 Lakh railway tickets available in a day.
So far, despite acknowledging the painful lag or ‘hit-or-miss’ experienced by the visitors to the site, the parent company hasn’t been able to remedy the situation completely. Visitors to the site often complain of issues that remind us of the time when internet was new in the country and had speed limitations & crude processes that didn’t allow pages to load quickly or smoothly. Most of the issues have been neatly summarized by K Srikanth, a regular visitor the site,
“You can get stuck at any stage, from filling in names to selecting the berth or seat. More frustrating, you can get logged out without warning any time. Even if a user manages to reach the end of the process, more often than not the tickets would have been sold out. Worse, there are times when the money is deducted from the user’s bank account or credit card but the ticket is not issued. It is criminal for the government to allow this to continue”
What he meant to imply was that despite being an official & legal site, IRCTC many-a-times behaved as a rouge site that attempted to discourage passengers from booking ticket. Commuters have to jump through many uncertain hoops, just to buy a single or a few tickets. If that’s not all, many such buyers routinely dread being stuck at any random stage of the booking process & have to start the entire process anew, which entitled a risk of the tickets running-out.
IRCTC has set a few ambitious targets for the site with e-Commerce, while it has taken a few concrete steps to ensure that project takes-off, its core purpose still has a lot of issues that need ironing out. Hope the Government undertaking solves these as promised.