The Indian Railways has issued some new guidelines for reserving tickets online. From now, you can book tickets in advance up to 120 days through the IRCTC portal - irctc.co.in, which is the e-ticketing arm of the national carrier.
The 120 days will not take the date of journey from the train originating station into account.
This announcement was made by Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The minister said these steps are being taken to strengthen the online ticket reservation system and the Tatkal scheme of the Indian Railways, which carries over two crore people on a daily basis.
Recently, the Railway Ministry has also tweaked some inbuilt features in the tatkal ticket booking system to avoid misuse of Tatkal system. The features include, not granting refund if confirmed Tatkal tickets are cancelled, no modification (seat allocation) is allowed and others.
A look at some measures introduced in the online ticket reservation system
- Single page or quick book services are not available between 8 am and 12 noon.
- Only six tickets can be booked in a month from a single user ID.
- If the user is Aadhaar verified, he/she can book 12 tickets in a month
- Once can book only two tickets during the opening hours between 8am and 10 am.
- A user can have only one login session at a time.
- Captcha, which differentiates between a human and a robot, is available at login, passenger detail and payment webpages.
- For more clarity, an additional level of security has been added. The user has to answer a question after he has filled up his personal information, i.e. user name, email, mobile number, check box etc.
- Ticket brokers or agents are allowed to reserve tickets between 8am to 8.30 am, 10 am to 10.30 am and 11 am to 11.30 am.
- The standard time to fill up passenger details is 25 seconds.
- The minimum input time for Captcha on passenger details page and payment page is 5 seconds.
- A user will get 10 seconds to make the payments.
- For net banking, one-time password (OTP) system has been made mandatory for all banks and users
- One has to book the tickets a day before the travel. For AC coach tickets, the bookings will start at 10 am, while for general coaches it would be 11 am.
- A passenger can claim complete refund of train fare and Tatkal charges, if the train fails to leave within three hours of its scheduled time.
- If a train's route is diverted and a passenger doesn't want to travel on that route, he can ask for a full refund.
- A passenger can also claim a full refund if he/she is shifted to a lower class and he doesn't want to travel in that class.
- A passenger will be paid back the difference if he/she agrees to travel in the lower class.
- Authorised travel agents have been barred from booking tatkal tickets during the first 30 minutes after the reservation opens.