The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which runs Indian Railway’s ticket booking website, has claimed it is spending Rs. 10.5 crore to deal with perennial issues of slowing down and crashing of their website.
“We have invested the sum to enhance connection strength. We’re hopeful of achieving around 40%-45% increase in the bookings,” said a senior IRCTC official.
“The initial two hours of tatkal booking, from 10am to noon, bears the maximum rush and the system books around 40,000 tickets per hour during this period. This is likely to go up to 60,000 to 63,000 tickets per hour,” he said.
Passengers have for long been fed up as the servers that host IRCTC’s online ticket booking website are always down within minutes after the tatkal window is opened. The country’s largest e-commerce website (www.irctc.co.in) also crashes due to heavy traffic. This is not limited to the rush hour.
Railway minister Pawan Bansal has also announced a revamping of the IRCTC website by increasing the booking rate to 7,200 tickets per minute from 2,000 tickets per minute. He also declared that the site would be able to handle 1.2 lakh users at any point of time as compared to its existing capacity of 40,000 users.
“This is expected to be ready by the year-end. IRCTC has already started working on this augmentation and is investing a large sum of money to install future generation hardware and develop improved software,” said the official.
Internet penetration in India is around 10% and less than 5% population has credit cards. The situation was even bleaker in 2005 and very few even noticed the website. Today, the e-ticketing site books around 48% of the total reserved tickets.