The Indian Railways is becoming customer friendly. It wants to do away with long waits for ticket booking, and offer information status of wait-listed tickets via SMS.
In her budget speech, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that passengers would soon be able to buy tickets from 5,000 post offices spread across the country. The ministry will also introduce mobile vans that issue tickets in areas where other outlets are not available.
The ministry has signed an agreement with the Department of Posts to sell computerized tickets.
This would ease the pressure on railway reservation centres at railway stations and help prospective passengers in smaller cities and towns where there are fewer reservation centres or authorised travel agents who sell e-tickets.
The ministry also plans to introduce mobile ticketing vans called “Mushkil Aasaan” for issuing tickets in both rural and urban areas, Banerjee said.
“Poor people who are unable to go to the stations can now purchase tickets in market places, mohallas and other busy places,” she said. “This year, we will introduce 50 such mobile vans.”
She also said the Railways passenger reservation system (PRS) would cover 200 new towns and cities. She asked members of Parliament to identify one PRS location each of their choice.
Furthermore, the also announced that passengers would be provided information on wait-listed tickets on their mobile phones via SMS.