Mamuni Das

New Delhi, Aug. 18

SEVEN days after its launch on a pilot basis, the Railways' e-ticketing service is yet to pick up in a big way. However, officials appear optimistic, pointing out that the service has not really been advertised.

About 25 per cent of the users who booked their tickets through the Internet went on to print their own tickets for the first three days and this went up to 40 per cent on the fifth day August 16, said a senior official.

On August 12, the Railways launched the e-ticketing service that enables passengers to board the train with a computer printout obtained from his/her personal computer. As per the present system, while tickets can be booked on the Internet or through cell-phones, the ticket printout is taken at the Railways' end, which is then collected by or delivered to the passenger through courier.

The service was launched on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi Express on a pilot basis. As for the charges, e-ticketing is pretty much on the lines of Internet booking with Rs 40-Rs 60 as a transaction fee for each ticket.

The first three days saw nine e-ticket bookings on each day from a total of 50 tickets being booked on an average through the Internet for the Shatabdi Express train. On August 12, 13 and 14, nine people booked e-tickets each day. On August 15, five e-tickets were issued. But on August 16, 20 e-tickets were booked from a total of about 50 tickets booked through the Internet, said the official.

With e-ticket booking, the user is required to produce a proof of identity bearing his/her photograph issued by the Government along with the ticket printout before boarding the train.

The identity proof could be a passport, a PAN card, a driving licence, a voter identity card or an identity card issued by the Government to its officials.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 19, 2005)
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