Try booking a tatkal train
ticket online at 8am when booking counters and the web portal open
simultaneously, and you will invariably find the website hanging frequently. Do
not expect the
situation to improve dramatically as IRCTC, the agency that runs the site,
has plainly said it cannot meet the surging demand.
A GM-level IRCTC official said
there were simply too many users, especially ahead of festivals and summer
"We have seen a peak of 13,000 hits per minute during the
first 10-15 minutes from 8am. Our capacity is 1,500-2,000 successful
transactions a minute. There isn't much we can do at the moment to meet the
shortfall," the official said.
"We have ensured our system is as
tout-free as possible. For faster usage, we have installed iridium servers,
increased bandwidth and worked on ways to increase server capacity. But the
demand keeps on rising," said an official. He added that CRIS, the company that
set up the website, had been told about the problems.
IRCTC officials also said scaling up online bookings beyond a point too was also
not desirable as that would deprive customers buying tickets from railway
counters, especially in remote areas.
IRCTC has so far added 52 servers and plans to add 18 more. "But
scaling up is not the only solution. If we were to increase our bandwidth to
unlimited capacity, people in rural areas, who don't have net access will always
be deprived of Tatkal (reservations made a day ahead) tickets since all will be
booked within the first 15 minutes of counters opening at 8am," IRCTC chief
Rakesh Kumar Tandon recently said in an interview to The Economic
The IRCTC said it had taken strong action to stop touts. A total
of 5,26,517 multiple user IDs and 44,187 IDs created by agents had been
deactivated till date. "Single user registration on one e-mail ID with email
verification has been implemented and individual users are permitted to book
only two tickets between 8 and 10am. Mobile validation of users and single user
registration on one mobile number has been implemented and mobile booking
application has been launched for individual registered users of IRCTC. Single
session per user ID check has been implemented. With this step, a user on
irctc.co.in will be able to open his account for booking of e-tickets only
once," said a senior IRCTC official on condition of anonymity.
UP STF officer, who had busted a gang of railway touts in Lucknow, said the
website could be tweaked. "The accused travel agents used a software to tweak
the system and make their bookings at nine times the original speed," he said.
Source:-The Times of India