New Delhi/Mumbai | Passengers across the country were inconvenienced when the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's website and mobile application crashed Tuesday morning, leaving officials scrambling to fix the glitch.
Officials said the glitch was due to "technical reasons" which were later resolved, but not before it caused chaos among passengers, many of whom complained that while money was deducted from their accounts, the tickets were not booked.
Adding to the woes of the passengers, the unreserved ticketing system (UTS) used for purchasing tickets through Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) also developed an undisclosed problem. Several people faced problems in booking tickets since morning. Some of them said they also faced issues while booking tickets through the IRCTC's ticketing partners.
"Due to technical reasons, the ticketing service is not available on IRCTC site and app. Technical team of CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) is resolving the issue," the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) tweeted.
It also advised passengers to book their tickets on platforms like Amazon, MakeMyTrip, among others.
According to officials, the IRCTC website had a technical issue from 2.56 am to 1.28 pm.
The website is working normally from 1.28 pm, they said.
Some passengers claimed when they tried to book tickets through the
IRCTC website and mobile application, the money got deducted from their accounts, but their tickets were not booked. "I had to book tickets today. When I tried the first time, payment failed and the ticket was not booked. I tried five times but still the ticket was not booked. A sum of Rs 10,000 spent on the ticket is 'under processing' now. First, I book sleeper class that's not booked then I try (3AC) that still not booked," one Sharib Khan tweeted. Another person, Dhinesh Rajan, in a tweet said, "Tried to book a ticket using @makemytrip and the page got stuck after the payment and closed. I couldn't book ticket for my journey and lost my money by trusting a third party website as instructed by @IRCTCofficial." The glitch, however, did not see a dip in the number of bookings on the site. The IRCTC website, which on an average sees bookings in the range of 12 to 13 lakh tickets per day online, saw a booking of 14,19,671 tickets between midnight and 4:30 pm on Tuesday despite the technical issue, officials said. This is primarily because the railways put into operation about 200 additional PRS (passenger reservation system) ticket counters across various zonal railways, they said. In Mumbai, the IRCTC's western region group general manager and spokesperson did not respond to media queries about the issues. A Central Railway (CR) spokesperson said in view of the technical issue of the IRCTC website and mobile application ticket booking, the CR opened 12 extra PRS window counters at stations in the Mumbai Division, including five at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and some other stations in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. A railway official said bookings were made through platforms of 28 registered B2C agents. In addition, bookings were also happening through IRCTC Chatbot ‘Ask Disha' and PRS counters, he said. He added that the IRCTC has also been notifying the passengers with regular updates through its customer care centre and the official Twitter handle. "The technical teams of IRCTC and CRIS worked along with key service providers to address the issues," the official said. Several suburban commuters also claimed the UTS used for purchasing tickets from ATVMs also developed a snag due to which they were unable to book tickets. A senior CR official said efforts were on to resolve the issue in the UTS system. The IRCTC website has the capacity to book 25,000 railway tickets per minute. There are plans to ramp this up to facilitate booking 2.5 lakh tickets per minute.