The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC),which manages the online rail ticketing for the Indian Railways has deactivated 44,000 user IDs as part of an exercise to check unscrupulous travel agents who use multiple IDs to get general and ‘Tatkal’ tickets through IRCTC’s ticketing portal, according to a report by

The Times of India.

We’ve written to IRCTC for a confirmation, and will update this post when we hear from them.

The report cites a senior IRCTC official who said that the IDs were being used by travel agents for business purposes, and had been opened using the same mobile numbers and e-mail IDs. IRCTC has about 1.35 lakh registered agents on its rolls. However, a few of these agents had opened multiple-user IDs using the same cellphone numbers and IDs, he said. The report also mentions that an IRCTC vigilance wing team has detected five lakh similar IDs. The official also informed the publication that on an average 4.47 lakh tickets are booked everyday through the site, compared to 3.6 lakh tickets, earlier, and that 74,000 tickets are booked in the first two hours, an increase compared to 63,000, before the new rule was imposed.

IRCTC had reported around 17.22 million transactions for the month of July , of which almost 75.01% were successful.

Earlier this year, IRCTC had informed that it had taken several additional steps to streamline Tatkal ticket bookings, including allowing only single user registration on one email address with email verification and one mobile number, a single session per user ID to book e-tickets, implementing Captchas for booking through ‘Plan My Travel’ and barring Quick Book and Cash Cards option between 10AM -12 PM. Also, it allows users to book only two tickets per IP address between 10 AM – 12 PM, to prevent multiple bookings from the same office/Internet cafe and facilitate genuine bookings.

Last year, IRCTC had blocked more than 4.4 lakh user IDs and 71, 484 e-mail IDs to curb malpractices by agents. It would be interesting to see if this drive leads to further efficiency, and allows smoother bookings.

As an aside, we noticed on interesting Quora thread on IRCTC using a special algorithm to keep young female travellers away from the compartments of young male travellers!