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Rlys to launch own portal for e-ticketing

PATNA: The Indian Railways, following frequent complaints, has decided to launch its own portal for e-ticketing to cater to the needs of the people. The new portal is likely to be launched by September-end. However, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will continue to issue e-tickets to passengers on its website.
According to a Railway Board official, the railways will start issuing e-tickets online on its own website www.indianrail.gov.in from the last week of September providing an option to the needy and computer savvy passengers to procure their e-tickets either from IRCTC or Indian Railways website as per their convenience, he said.
The board official said the railways' move would end monopoly of private sectors, who have been given franchise by IRCTC to book e-tickets from different places across the country. At present about 30 per cent of all rail ticket bookings are being made by the IRCTC. The railways is, in fact, considering to provide multiple e-ticket booking choice to passengers at a time of computerisation and globalization, he said.
The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), which is a wing of railways, has been working hard to make e-ticket booking functional on its own portal. Recently it became difficult for most of passengers to access the IRCTC website for booking their tickets through e-ticketing system. The recent scam related to e-ticketing booking and fake cancellation of trains in Samastipur division of East Central Railway (ECR) has forced Indian Railways to work out an alternative website for procuring e-tickets across the country, the board official said.
The official admitted that railways was forced to ban about eight lakh e-ticketing agents at the country level for booking Tatkal tickets between 8 am and 9 am on the IRCTC portal due to glaring misuse of this facility by these agents. These agents have been grabbing berths to sell them at a premium at all important stations. The ban imposed on them to access the IRCTC website in the first one hour has so far yielded good results. The new railway portal will become an easily accessible portal for the common people to procure e-tickets by any mail and express trains, he said.
It may be recalled that the Indian Railways has, of late, stripped the IRCTC of catering services on all long distance mail and express trains. Railways intends to take up the catering responsibility on itself to serve passengers with meals and breakfast on running trains, sources said.

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