New Delhi: It will take the IRCTC three more years to provide e-ticketing services to citizens through 2.82 lakh retail service providers, as it has registered only 38,500 RSPs till date, sources in the railways’ e-ticketing arm said today.
IRCTC is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian railways. Its tagline is “Lifeline of the nation”.
Apart from conventional tourism, it also offers adventure tourism packages that include water sports, adventure and wildlife treks, etc. A provision for customising tours as per specific requirements is also an added attraction. Recently a new venture of Indian Railways, named as Rail Tourism India has been launched to provide direct catering and tourism packages to users.
The sources said that the 2.82 lakh figure was difficult to achieve with around 200-300 retail service providers (RSP) registering daily with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
“With just around 200-300 registering daily, as of now, we have 38,500 RSPs for the IRCTC services. It has been conveyed to the IT Ministry. We are taking this on a war footing,” the source said.
In order to enable more merchants to accept digital payment, especially in the rural areas of the country, the government launched the common service centres (CSC).
The CSCs, recently renamed as ‘Digital Seva Kendras’, are supposed to be in the rural areas of the country and help citizens in those areas with the delivery of various electronic services like online ticket booking, Aadhaar enrolment, printing and generation of certifications, among others.
The government claims that there are 2.92 such centres operational in the country, with the IRCTC meant to deliver e-ticketing services via retail service providers (RSPs) through 2.8 lakh such centres.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation also organizes catering on many important trains. Catering managed by IRCTC has a higher record of quality consistency. To give a freedom to passengers from conventional food (e-catering and Android application) service has been launched. Passengers can book food of their choice from vendors like Dominos to Halidram at select stations. Food is delivered at the seat. This project has the potential to become big.