Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) clocked over half a million e-ticket bookings (5.80 lakhs) on Wednesday, making it the highest number booked through the website in a single day.
The earlier record was set on 2 September, 2012, when the online ticket portal of Indian Railways booked 5,72,000 tickets.
The site currently books 4,63,000 tickets daily on an average as against 3,85,000 tickets booked in a day in 2013, which was a growth of 20 per cent year-over-year, translating into a daily transaction of over Rs53 crore currently, as against Rs37 crore in 2013.
In a bid to address consumer complaints regarding the slow speed of the website, IRCTC recently launched IRCTC Lite during tatkal booking hours, which had boosted the number of bookings during the tatkal period, registering a jump of 40 per cent since February, according to a press release by IRCTC.
Business Standard quoted an official of the railways as saying that the aim of the IRCTC was to increase the booking rate to over 7,000 tickets per minute from its present rate of 2,000 tickets and ultimately to make the site capable of handling 120,000 users at any point of time, as compared to its existing capacity of 40,000 users.
An IRCTC spokesperson told The Times of India the site booked over 4.63 lakh tickets with an average of 9.47 lakh passengers daily as against 3.85 lakh tickets with 6.86 lakh passengers booked daily during 2013.
It meant there was a 20-per cent increase in the number of tickets and a 38 per cent increase in the number of passengers.
In a bid to reduce traffic and unnecessary hits during the peak hours, IRCTC had recently launched "IRCTC Lite" during Tatkal period ie 10am to 1200pm. This service was now available from 0930am. The effort saw IRCTC remove all links, images, ads, services, features which were not helping or not required at the time of premium Tatkal ticket booking.
He added, this had resulted in increased number of bookings during the Tatkal period. In the first hour of Tatkal booking (10am-11am), the earlier average booking before the introduction of the "IRCTC Lite" was around 48,000 tickets, which had now jumped to over 58,000.