Every traveller has experienced chaotic scenes at the reservation counters of railway stations — serpentine queues, jostling for vantage positions, arguments over someone trying to sneak in, distracting counter clerk by asking innumerable queries.
At Ranchi station, you are not going to witness these familiar scenes any more. For, the railway authorities have installed a hi-tech electronic queue management system for passengers seeking reservation/cancellation of tickets.
DRM Gajanan Mallya inaugurated the ATM-like terminal at the reservation centre of Ranchi station on Tuesday. It was pressed into service on Wednesday.
Although it developed a minor snag within four hours, commuters at the station were not complaining. They rather lauded the well-intended efforts of the railways.
“Reservations will hopefully be hassle-free now as we do not have to stand in long queues. Instead, we can relax sitting on the chairs and wait for our respective turns,” said Aneeta Sharma, a Ranchi resident, who was ironically standing in a queue, after the machine conked out.
Those seeking reservation or cancellation need to approach the token dispenser first and has to press the button of the unit that specifies their purpose, namely general, cancellation/modification, tatkal and privileged service. The machine then ejects a numbered paper token.
Once done, they need not stand in queues. Instead, they have to look at the visual display unit for their serial number and the specific counter where they have to go.
One passenger can present only one such slip. “Since a person can present only one token, the system is expected to eliminate touts,” hoped Priya Ranjan, a ticket-seeker.