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IRCTC will log out users after each transaction during peak hours

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The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) implemented a new rule, that will allow only one ticket per user in one login session. The restrictions will be in place between the peak hours of 8am to 12pm, during which time users will be logged out automatically after making a single e-ticket booking.

The restriction will apply to IRCTC agents as well. However, the agency will allow tickets to be booked for onward journeys or return journeys without logging the user out. Users will also be able to book tickets without restrictions outside the 8am to 12pm timeframe, while defence bookings with a warrant can take place without restriction.

According to IRCTC, this move will overall help reduce the number of transactions made by the agents and like, as they will have to login after each transaction. Even if the agents use an automated software to re-login, the minute or so wasted there, should allow legitimate users to perform their transactions.

IRCTC has been taking various steps to stop agents from hogging tickets. This is especially true since 2012 when it was alleged that a daily 4-5 minute down-time at 8am on its website, was orchestrated to ensure that touts have exclusivity over emergency tickets. In the ensuing month IRCTC took steps like allowing agents to book only one tatkal ticket per train per day on the website after 12pm, and allowing individual users only 2 tickets between 10am and 12pm.

Ticketing initiatives: IRCTC’s online ticketing site is known to have significant traffic load issues, although it had launched a new ticketing platform last year, which appears to be one that actually stays up. The agency also introduced cash on delivery (CoD) payment option for buying train tickets in partnership with BookMyTrain.com just last month. In October last year, Indian Railways had tied-up with Citibank to offer EMI facility for e-ticket bookings on IRCTC. The same month, IRCTC also released its official Android app. The app allows users to search for and book rail tickets, check existing reservations, cancel reservations and get upcoming journey alerts.

Other developments:

– IRCTC partnered with UBI to offer a RuPay prepaid card which will let users book train tickets and buy goods or services from the IRCTC portal, earlier this week. The card can be loaded with an amount convenient for the user to book railway tickets, and good and services from the IRCTC website. Every month, the first five transactions done through the card on IRCTC to buy railway tickets will be free of cost for the first 6 months.

– The rail agency tied up with Amazon.in to sell various products to IRCTC customers. However, the products are not sold on IRCTC’s website, instead clicking on ‘Shop by Amazon’ redirects users to Amazon.in, which sports an IRCTC logo on it.

– Last month, IRCTC tied up with Jubilant Foodworks to deliver Dominos’ pizza to your seat if you’re traveling across selected stations in India. The organization had mentioned this will be a service to trains that currently do not have pantry cars, however it would be extended to trains with pantry cars in the future.

Image source: Flickr user Fabio Campo

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