Discrepancy in online and window tickets leaves rail passengers confused

Though the much-awaited Diwali festival is over now, many railway passengers, who travelled to their hometowns after two or more years post the Covid pandemic, are left anguished by discrepancy between online and counter railway tickets.

Many train commuters have alleged that online tickets don’t show departure time or date, leaving the passengers confused, which is not the case when it comes to tickets booked over the counter, bringing more clarity for the travellers.

“Why is this discrepancy in rail tickets? I had booked my ticket online in a special festival train. On the day of travel, I packed my luggage and searched for the departure time on my ticket, but it was nowhere to be found. I checked the SMS which also didn’t show the departure time,” said Apoorv (19).

“When I googled, different websites showed different departure time. Some showed the train is running late by 10 minutes, some by 15 minutes. Some showed the departure time as 8.30 am. However, when I reached the station at 8.13 am, I found the train had departed at 8.10 am from Jaipur to Chittorgarh.”

Not just Apoorv, many other passengers also had similar tales to narrate of missing trains due to the utter confusion over departure time in tickets booked online.

Pawan Bairagi said, “Online rail tickets and the tickets issued over the counter should follow same norm. Why no departure date or time is mentioned on the online tickets when the same is clearly printed on counter tickets?”

Meanwhile, it is not only the lack of clarity over train timings which has irked the railway passengers, as there are other issues as well.

“We logged in for Tatkal reservation at 9.50 am, but much to our surprise, the windows opened at 9.55 am which otherwise should open at 10 am. It closed at 11 am sharp. Tatkal windows are supposed to be open from 10 am to 11 am for AC passengers,” said Bhavya, who travelled from Pune to Ratlam for Diwali.

Another passenger, Ruchi, said that becasue of technical issues, she preferred to go to the railway counter to book tickets from the Tatkal window.

“Surprisingly, while I could see on my phone that five tickets were available in the Swaraj Express, the man at the counter said that not a single ticket was available. Luckily, there was another special train and hence we were able to return to Mumbai from Nagda,” she said.

Due to such confusions, many passengers are travelling by private Volvo buses, though their exorbitant and unchecked ticket rates have left them infuriated.

“Why there is no check on these buses? They are charging Rs 5,000-6000 per person for an overnight journey to cash in on the situation. We have come to celebrate the festival and now we want to go back to work. But these guys are charging as per their will. There needs to be a regularity mechanism for these private buse,” said Bhavya.

Meanwhile, a railway official said, “There are certain rules which are formulated at the top level, including what all should be mentioned on online tickets . At times we also face some technical challenges though we are overcoming them.”

20221031-184603

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