In the first half of February, 2016, Union Minister Railways, during a function at Rail Bhawan, introduced three IT enabled projects. These projects include (i) Paperless unreserved ticketing through mobile phone in suburban section of South Central Railway; (ii) Pilot Project of Hand Held Terminals (HHT) for TTEs on Naorthern Railway; and (iii) E-booking of disposable linen on trains at New Delhi Railway Station and Nizamuddin Railway Station.
Main Features of IT enabled Projects
(i) Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile Phone
Taking one step forward in the direction of Digital India, centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a paperless Unreserved Ticketing Mobile Application “UTSONMOBILE”, both for Android and windows platforms. The features of this application enable booking of paperless unreserved journey tickets, season tickets and platform tickets through mobile phone.
The service or the paperless platform tickets would be introduced at first on 5 stations of South Central Railway viz. Secunderabad Jn., Hyderabad Deccan, Beganpet, Falaknuma and Lingampalli.
The application for paperless journey tickets was at first introduced on 22 April, 2015, as a pilot project between Chennai Egmore and, Tambaram suburban section of Southern Railway. It was further extended to suburban section of western Railway, Central Railway, New Delhi – Palwal section of Norther Railway and Kolkata suburban section of eastern Railway. With these expansions, the mobil paperless tickets application became available at 345 stations covering a distance of 955 km.
Functions of the Application
The application catered essential on screen alerts to guide the passenger during the booking process. There is a feature in the “App”, termed Railway Wallet through which payment can be done. After booking the ticket the passenger will receive the ticket confirmation screen that comprises limited information of the ticket.
These paperless tickets are going to be stored in the local mobile application database in encrypted form that cannot be tampered with. One cannot demand cancellation of tickets that are booked in paperless mode; this condition has been made with an intention to prevent claiming of refund after journey.
Features of the Paperless Ticket
The paperless Journey Ticket has distinct colour scheme on day-to-day basis and is ingrained with Quick response (QR) code. Similarly, paperless seasonal ticket has different colour scheme for monthly season ticket, quarterly season ticket, half-yearly season ticket and yearly season ticket.
The ‘App’ has various features, for the purpose of ticket checking, such as colour scheme, show ticket features, secret code of the day, booking time of the ticket and scolling of legend “IR UNRESERVED TICKETING.
(ii) Hand Held Terminals for TTEs
When all allotments of tickets are done, remaining vacant berths, with the help of Hand Held Terminals (HHT) for TTEs, will be sent back to HHT Application Servers that can be viewed on PRS terminal as well as on web site (indianrail.gov.in). Information about all NT passengers will be sent to coaching refund system to perform speedier refund and remove the preparation of Manual Exception Data Reports (EDR).
Benefits of HHT
The Application assures greater transparency in the allotment of Accommodation onboard. It surely is going to secure better productivity norms amongst TTEs because the process of ticket checking will be simplified in a big way.
(iii) E-booking of Disposable linen on Trains
The railway Minister has given a green signal to the pilot project of E-Bedroll that permits passengers to obtain bedroll kits through online booking and from the counter at select outlets established by IRCTC on the stations.
On February 7, 2016, this facility of E-booking of Disposable Linen was inaugurated at Chennai Central Station by the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu. At the same time the same facility was also inaugurated at Trivandrum station by its DRM.
This facility of ‘E-booking of Disposable Linen on Train can be obtained by paying Rs. 140 for two bed sheets and a pillow, Rs. 110 for a blanket. These can be bought together at a cost of Rs. 250 or can be bought separately.
The passengers can avail the facility of getting confirmed e-tickets at the same time of ticketing or up to four hours earlier to the schedules departure of the train on the basis of online payment.
The facility of online booking of bedroll kit will be also available to passengers travelling on confired tickets, other than e-ticket holders, up to four hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the train.
It is the responsibility of IRCTC to supply the bedroll kits at the passenger’s berth. Earlier, on 7th February 2016, Personalized take away bedroll service was launched in Chennai Central Railway Station and Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station of Southern Railway.
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