Going home? Don't trust the IRCTC website for a ticket

travel travails

Going home? Don't trust the IRCTC website for a ticket

It’s festive time and half of Delhi is ready to head back to their native towns. Those from Bihar have their bags packed for Chhath while a large number of Bengalis plan to visit their families around Durga puja.

Sadly, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, on which lakhs of Delhiites depend to book train tickets for home, has been working on a whimsical basis. Last week, the website was down for two days, which made national news headlines owning to the lakhs hassled, and has been causing problems otherwise as well.

Preeti Parmar, a student of Hansraj College, travels to her hometown Jalandhar once in three-four months. She prefers train over bus, but has to go by the bus every time. She says, “Being a single woman, I definitely like to take the train but the IRCTC website sometimes opens up in seconds and otherwise takes ages. Between 10 to 12 am of course, there is no chance of getting through due to the humongous Tatkal traffic and otherwise it’s pathetically slow. I wonder why they don’t upgrade their technology.”

The website’s practice of logging out visitors if they have been on it for more than 10 minutes is also hugely frustrating. Namit Bhandari, a software professional hailing from Jharkhand, says, “It’s a race from start to finish. So many times, I have struggled against time to fill up the personal details, looked up the train, vacancies etc., proceeded to make the online payment and at that very minute, my session closed.”

The website is also notorious for frequently accepting online payments but not booking the ticket. Faizan Haider from Munger, Bihar, says, “Not everyone has that kind of time or money to wait for the cash to be refunded. There are so many people who are staying away from families in Delhi and living on a shoe-string budget. Why do they do this to us: accept the money and not give the ticket?”

Most, of course, have learnt to just live with the problem. Puja Chakravarty, pursuing management studies in the city, says, “I know that I cannot afford a flight to Kolkata, more so after the recent flight ticket price rise. So I will put up with this till the time IRCTC authorities either become more responsible or take pity on us.” Hopefully, someone is listening.

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