New Delhi: Indian Railways are mulling the
sale of e-tickets on its portal which will end IRCTC`s
monopoly in e-ticketing business and provide multiple booking
avenues to rail passengers.
Highly placed sources in the Railway Ministry said the
new facility will be one of the several passenger-friendly
features planned to be rolled out before the Dussehra festival
this year that falls towards September end.
The decision, if materialises, could be yet another
setback for IRCTC, thanks to the new catering policy unveiled
recently which stripped the Railway PSU of its catering
responsibility that formed its core business.
While the PSU made a business of approximately Rs 450
crore from catering during the last financial year, it earned
Rs 122 crore from selling e-tickets.
Currently, thirty per cent of all rail bookings are done
through IRCTC website.
CRIS, the IT arm of Railways, is understood to be already
working on providing e-ticketing facility on Indian Railways’
Sources said passengers would stand to gain from such a
move as getting access to IRCTC website was proving difficult
especially during initial hours in the morning when booking
Railways had recently banned IRCTC web-based agents from
accessing tatkal bookings after complaints that they were
cornering the berths to sell them at a premium.
Sources said apart from providing e-ticketing facility,
the website will provide information about booking positions
in waiting rooms, journey planners and others. The website
itself will sport a new look before the Dussehra festival.
IRCTC, on its part, has decided to roll out several other
tourism packages keeping the upcoming festival season in mind
and to leverage on its position in the rapidly growing tourism
This apart, it would embark on plans to expand the
packaged drinking water business. During the last financial
year, it earned approximately Rs 50 crore from the `rail neer`