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Railway restricts online ticketing, Cos concerned
Thu Aug 12 21:52:43 2010
views: 420 | Comments: 0
 madanme image By Madanme
Member since:Jun 22, 2010 23:18:57

New Delhi: Three digital payment companies, Itz Cash Card, Suvidhaa and OSS Retails (Done Card) have issued a joint statement expressing concern over the new Indian Railways policy from IRCTC, barring them from booking online tickets from 8 am to 9 am. The company's representatives are planning to meet IRCTC to ask them to reconsider their decision, reports Nikhil Pahwa from MediaNama.

The IRCTC had recently proposed that web service agents would not be allowed to book tatkal tickets from 8 am to 9 am, as well as any ticket for the first one hour when the advance 90 day reservation of any train opens up. According to this report in the Financial Express, the IRCTC did this because consumers would complain about the IRCTC website crashing as soon as booking began in the morning, and the "tatkal" quota would get exhausted within minutes. Tatkal tickets are reserved for passengers who need to travel urgently, and are up for purchase two days before the journey. Typically, tickets on the Indian Railways are sold off/booked rather quickly, and trains are often overbooked. The web allows these tickets to be booked with a little more convenience.

According to the Itz Cash, Suvidhaa and Done Card, around 100,000 web service agents have been impacted by this move. ITZ Cash Card accounted for 894,980 transactions on IRCTC in June 2010, while Done Card accounted for 164,176 and I Cash Card accounted for 243,874. In total, they accounted for 1,303,030 transactions, around 14.68 percent of the total IRCTC transactions in June. These companies have franchise networks, and rail ticketing accounts for a substantial proportion of their business. By way of a compromise, they have suggested that a certain quote be reserved for online ticketing initially.

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