After months of trials, Railways has decided against creating a new e-ticketing website and will instead revamp the existing IRCTC website portal with more user-friendly applications.
"There were series of trials for launching a new e-ticketing site and in fact the new site was operational for a few days also. But we have to stop it as there are several functional problems," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the online ticketing project.
Two years back, Railways had decided to sell e-tickets directly from its own website instead of using IRCTC portal to sell train tickets in the wake of increasing demand of online tickets and large-scale complaints against IRCTC website.
The commission rate was also supposed to be Rs 10 per online ticket as against Rs 20 charged by Railways subsidiary IRCTC at present.
"Now we have decided not to have a separate e-ticketing site. But the existing IRCTC site will be completely revamped with new interface and front-end application," he said.
About the proposed low commission rate, the official said it will remain same at Rs 20.
Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the IT arm of Railways, is developing software and application code for the IRCTC site. The exercise is estimated to cost Rs 80 crore which IRCTC will bear.
"The intellectual property right of the new site will remain with Railways," the official said.
Currently, about 4.5 lakh ticket bookings, which is about 40 per cent of total bookings, are done through IRCTC website.
With the growing demand for e-tickets, Railways have decided to make the new IRCTC site capable of daily handling eight lakh online tickets.
IRCTC, CRIS and the IT department of Railway are working in coordination on the project and the new portal with several passenger-friendly features for instant ticketing will be launched shortly, the official said.