Tuesday, too, was a bad day for all those who wanted to book a railway ticket.
Due to the ongoing agitation by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) personnel, Indian Railways’ Passenger Reservation System (PRS) was severely affected.
PRS is a web of computers across the country managing train reservations.
“On Monday, eight PRS terminals ran slow. On Tuesday, the number came down to two,” said Sanjay Bajpai, Northern Railway spokesman.
“If PRS counters run slow, less bookings can happen, so it is a huge loss of revenue to the Railways.”
Air travellers fared no better at Indira Gandhi International Airport for the second day as phone lines functioned erratically.
On Monday, some flights were even delayed as boarding passes had to be issued manually after Internet-based processing systems of many airlines could not function.
“The local network depends on MTNL lines for processing, and as these couldn’t work, boarding passes were issued manually by some airlines, leading to delays on Monday,” said an airport official who didn’t wish to be named.
“Though the situation is better now, the phone facilities are still erratic.”
“Issuance of boarding cards for passengers did not suffer because we are not dependent on the Internet for ticketing. However, the inquiry service was affected because of damaged telephone cables,” an Air India spokesperson said.
Small businesses also suffered
“Some of our clients had to suffer due to the disturbance of services. From Monday morning, Internet leased circuit of MTNL is down,” said Gagandeep S Sapra, CEO, System 3, a Data Centre company based in New Delhi.
“What is disturbing is that all the senior MTNL officials were inaccessible. They had simply switched off their phones. We didn’t know what was happening and whom to approach,” said Sapra.
Pizza delivery services were also affected
“Even during rush hour, we were unable to take calls due to the MTNL strike. The management decided to send a text message to all our customers informing them about the alternate number. The most affected stores were in South Delhi areas, such as Defence Colony, Greater Kailash I and II, among others,” said Abhay Kumar, Assistant Manager, Dominos, Greater Kailash II.