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Railway Budget 2014: Online Booking Of Meals, Mobile Ticketing

After a fairly uninspiring budget last year, The Indian Railways has announced some interesting, but again, fairly meek plans for the 2013-2014 financial year. Read the budget speech here. The railways plans to introduce: 1. Online booking of meals on trains: while this is the correct approach, we wondering if the Railways will also enable online booking of meals through third party vendors. That would set up an interesting situation, if online travel companies can also tie-up with ventures such as TravelKhana, which deliver food at Railway Stations. Frankly, the railways should should also encourage competition with its own service which is provided with IRCTC for improving the consumer experience. 2. Ticketing on mobile phones in the unreserved segment: This would open up an entirely new segment for the IRCTC. Hope it has a platform that can handle the potential load. 3. Online booking of retiring rooms at all important stations: We thought this service had already been launched. More on that here. 4. Information services: PNR status update to passengers through system generated SMS, and updates for train running information. Readers should keep in mind that the CRIS made a terrible move last year by pulling the plug on Rail Radar last year. Rail Radar used to provide important specific information on each train, including information on its current location, how late it was running, in a visual format. Rail Yatri, the company that introduced the Rail Radar, has relaunched it independently since, but isn't as detailed as the original Rail…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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