Indian Railways plans to revamp its ticket reservation system by introducing next generation e-ticketing system so as to popularise ticket bookings through mobile phones as well as post offices.
Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, railways minister D V Sadananda Gowda said Indian Railways will improve the system capabilities in e-ticketing to support 7,200 tickets per minute as against 2,000 tickets per minute and allow 120,000 simultaneous users at any point in time.
The minister said coin-operated automatic ticket vending machines will also be tried on an experimental basis
He said efforts will also be made to provide facility of buying platform tickets and unreserved tickets over internet. Parking-cum-platform combo tickets will be launched to facilitate the passengers and to save time.
He said that online booking facility of Railway Retiring Room will be extended to all the stations during the course of the year. He said the Indian Railways is expanding the scope of online booking for people to book a train, book a coach, book a berth and book a seat in a chair car.
Quality of catering to be ensured
In order to improve the quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety, railways propose to introduce pre-cooked (ready-to-eat) meals of reputed brands in a phased manner, Gowda said.
To bring perceptible improvement in the catering services, the minister proposed introducing quality assurance mechanism through third-party audit by NABCB certified agencies.
He said, in addition to the third-party audit, a system of collecting feedback through IVRS mechanism, from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served, will be launched shortly. The minister said if the service is not upto standards, especially in hygiene and the taste, severe action would be initiated against the vendors, including cancellation of the contract.
The railways also propose to set up food courts at major stations to provide the option of ordering regional cuisine while onboard, through emails, SMS and smart phones etc.
A pilot project would be started shortly between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections, he said.