| A rail ticket booking counter |
Days of depending on reservation counters at railway stations to book train tickets would soon end as such centres will come up in different cities.
At present, people have to queue at passenger reservation system centres to book tickets. The Railway Board has now decided on a public-private partnership to establish and operate these centres around the city under Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra.
The board recently issued all zonal railways the circular.
A senior railway board official told The Telegraph: “Now, people no more have to visit stations to book reserved and unreserved tickets as the centres would be available around the city. The traffic commercial wing of our board has sent the circular to all zonal railways.”
Tenders would be floated in two months.
Deputy general manager, East Central Railway, A.K. Jha said: “The scheme will provide passengers more option to book tickets and allow railways to utilise the manpower better.” The railway board official added the decision would help eliminate the influence of touts. Getting licences to sell tickets won’t be easy though.
Only people who have worked as railway ticket sale agents and railway ticket agents would get the change to work at the Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras. The franchisee would be appointed after clearance by a three-member screening committee.
Start of the new system will also mean, the railway board official added, that passenger reservation system centres in the urban areas would be closed in phases.
According to the scheme, an agent or licensee can operate four terminals at one centre and if ticket sales are good, the railways can increase the terminal numbers. The agents have to pay Rs 1.6 lakh in advance as system charges for each terminal every financial year. A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 5 lakh has to be paid after allotment of licence (for three years at the beginning).
The private terminals, which will be an addition to the facility operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, would be open from 9am to 10pm on weekdays, including Saturday. On Sunday, these will be open from 9am to 2pm and tatkal tickets can be booked from 11am.