Bulk online bookings: NIC revamping Corbett website after 6 suspicious IP addresses detected | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Bulk online bookings: NIC revamping Corbett website after 6 suspicious IP addresses detected

The Corbett management has identified six IP addresses through which bulk online bookings were done, overshadowing individual bookings for day visit and night stay at the protected forest in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Nov 11, 2017 20:15 IST
Nihi Sharma
Bulk online booking for day visit and night stay at the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,  are being done by a number people believed to be operators, blocking regular tourists.
Bulk online booking for day visit and night stay at the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, are being done by a number people believed to be operators, blocking regular tourists. (HT File Photo. )

The Corbett management has identified six IP addresses through which bulk online bookings were done, overshadowing individual bookings for day visit and night stay at the protected area in Uttarakhand.

Delhi and National Capital Region account for a majority of the online bookings which contribute over 90% to the earnings generated through tourism activities. It was found that a few people — believed to be tour operators — were making the bulk bookings and, in the process, blocking regular tourists.

The issue was discussed with former chief secretary S Ramaswamy, following which the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is now trying to secure the Corbett website. The lack of rules, strategy and plan are being blamed for the discrepancy regrading the bulk bookings.

“We submitted details of 6 IP addresses to the chief secretary through which the maximum bookings were done,” Corbett director Surendra Mehra told Hindustan Times.

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network using internet protocol for communication.

While a number of individual complaints were reported about the failure to avail online services, one incident drew the attention of Corbett officials on November 15, 2016, when an operator offered sumptuous breakfast to more than 10 tourists at the Khinanauli forest rest house.

First, the booking of the rest house is done manually through the chief wildlife warden’s office and it is, usually reserved for VIPs. Second, no such facility is offered at the rest house, Corbett officials said.

But officials claim the website is totally secured. The day visit at the reserve has already started from November 1 and night stays will start from November 15 when the gates of Dhikala are opened.

The reserve is a popular tourist destination among the people living in and around the national capital during winter and, especially, during the New Year.

“The problem is with the website. Unlike IRCTC, the website lacked a specific set of rules which limits multiple bookings,” Amit Sinha, inspector general and director, Information Technology Development Agency , said

NIC scientist Arun Sharma said there were ways to provide equal access to every user.

“The website needs checks and balances like OTP identification, limiting bookings by each user and others. We are reviewing the website and soon an improved version of the website will be presented to tourists.”