Ticketing Woes

Ticketing Woes

Daily, about 13 million passengers travel with the Indian Railways. No wonder, long queues are typical at railway reservation centres in our country. Especially in large cities, people often wait in queues for a very long time, sometimes as long as three hours. Come peak season, and this waiting period reaches its peak too. People line up from the previous night, to ensure that they get their seats/berths. Needless to say, that booking long distance railway tickets is a nightmare for most of us.

In view of this, it is surprising that it took the authorities this long to introduce a basic system that would ease up the chaos at the booking centres. But it’s better to be late than never. The Railways have finally put into action something that was long overdue. After introducing the LED-based token indicator system at the computerised reservation centre at CST, the same is soon being introduced at Thane. The arrangements are in place: LED screens, digital token screens over each window and long benches in front of all the windows, the last one is for people to park themselves comfortably while waiting their turns.

The token system would make "first come, first served" a reality at the reservation centres. This means it would be impossible for anyone to get a ticket issued out-of-turn. This out-of-turn business is particularly annoying when, during closing hours, the one who genuinely deserves the ticket is refused because of someone who broke into the queue.

The token system will certainly go a long way in reducing the discomfort faced by people. For one, the seating facility would be especially helpful in case of senior citizens and physically challenged persons. You can save time too. For instance, once a token is issued, you need not get confined to the booking centre. You could roughly estimate the amount of time it would take for your turn and go about attending to other tasks.

Although the token system would reduce the discomfort faced by the public at the reservation centres, it does not eliminate it completely. But there is good news: for those who have access to the Internet, you could book your tickets online through the IRCTC website. Just log on to www.irctc.co.in and register yourself. Once registered, you will be given a unique user name and password which you could use each time you wish to book a ticket. The ticket is dispatched to you by courier and normally reaches within 24 Hours.

Filmi Chakkar
A friend recently decided to venture out for a movie. He and his wife decided to watch American Desi. On scanning the day’s newspaper, they found that it was being screened at Vandana. They invited a few friends to join them too. It was the last show on Friday, and the couple reached there well before time to ensure that they get the desired number of tickets. On reaching the theatre, the couple found the ambience a little suspicious. They noticed a few "shady types" moving about the premises of the theatre. For a Friday night, there were hardly any crowds. Most importantly, the posters of American Desi were conspicuous by their absence. The duo soon found out the reason for the absence of the posters – the theatre was showing was some x-rated flick and not the film they intended to see. The newspaper they referred had made a blunder. Suddenly, the couple realised why they were the centre of attention – people around were wondering what such a decent looking couple was doing there!

Embarrassed, our friend quickly began calling all others he had invited, to warn them in time, of the faux pas he had committed. In the end, though all was fine. They succeeded in preventing the others from reaching the theatre, diverting them to a restaurant instead, where all of them shared a hearty meal and a hearty laugh at what had happened.

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