Gone will be the days when people would face hassles while booking tickets online on IRCTC website, as Indian Railways is planning to roll out a scheme, Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS). This will let users book online tickets in a faster way as earlier transactions using various bank accounts would mostly fail with 'timed-out session' message.
Shiv Prakash who depends totally on the online reservation of railway tickets has welcomed the initiative. “This is a great step for travellers like me,” Mr Prakash said, adding, “I hope the rolling deposit scheme ends the menace of failed transactions in which despite the deduction of money, tickets are not booked".
Equally happy with the scheme is Ashim Sunam, who oftens catches train to travel to his picturesque hometown, Darjeeling. “The government seems to be making efforts to make things easier for travellers, as earlier in the year, they also changed the timings of tatkal bookings making it easier and passenger friendly,” said Mr Sunam. Maintaining that he has faced the 'timed-out' problem many a time, Mr Sunam hopes that RDS will free him and other passengers from those hassles.
While most of the people found only goodies in the scheme, Rajat Bhatia doubts whether this scheme would help the genuine travellers and fears that it could even be misued by agents and impostors. “It will encourage and benefit brokers again who will deposit ample money in advance and get tickets booked, creating problems for lower class people who can not afford depositing money in IRCTC,” Mr Bhatia fears.
He doesn't discount that the booking could become faster but he doubts, and rightly so whether the scheme would after all benefit the travellers, as is being said.
Though this could be a step in the right direction but Railways need to make sure that touts are not let to book bulk tickets. They are seen as the root cause of the problem. Recently, the agents at the Lucknow Railway station were seen booking tickets against the names of army personnel. Though army personnel were found hand in glove with these touts, but there must be a system which can stop people from booking dozens of tickets at the same time, although with exceptions of families and study tours etc.
Pradeep Kundu, joint general manager, public relations, IRCTC, told TOI that they have proposed a one-time registration fee of around Rs 200-250 and a minimum deposit of around Rs 1500-2000 for the service. “Users can top up their RDS account balance by using any of the available payment gateways and can also transfer money from their bank accounts to their IRCTC accounts and book tickets using that RDS account,” Kundru said.
Maintaining that customers often enter wrong passwords, ending up with a timed out session, Kundru said that RDS account will save lot of time. “Time can be saved by using an RDS account, as the entire transaction is internal and there is no dependency on a third party payment gateway," he said.