By the end of this calendar year, the Indian Railways will introduce a new technology to make the electronic ticket booking system work faster and easier, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Tuesday.
Presenting the annual budget of his ministry in the Lok Sabha, Bansal said the government planned to introduce a "next generation" e-ticketing system that will support the booking of 7,200 tickets a minute.
The existing system supports booking of just 2,000 tickets per minute. The official e-ticket booking website of the IRCTC often crashes due to overloading.
"I often get to hear that congestion at the IRCTC website causes inordinate delay in accessing the system for e-ticketing," Bansal said. "By the end of this calendar year, we will put in place a next generation e-ticketing system which will bring about a paradigm shift in internet rail ticketing by significantly improving the end-user experience in respect of ease of use, response time as well as capacity," he said.
The minister said the new system would support 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time against the present capacity of 40,000 users.
And to make the electronic booking of ticket more convenient, the railways will extend the timing. The electronic booking facilities will be available from 12.30 am to 11.30 pm.
Bansal also announced that the railways would soon introduce a system under which the train tickets could be booked from mobile phones. He said the Indian Railways would use the database of Unique Identification Authority of India's Aadhaar numbers.
"I look forward expectantly to the use of Aadhaar scheme by Indian Railways. The database generated, can be extensively and efficiently used by railways not only to render more user friendly services such as booking of tickets, validation of genuine passengers with GPS enabled hand-held gadgets in trains, but also to provide a better interface with its employees in regard to their salaries, pension, allowances etc," he said.