General Tickets can be booked Online from November-1

IRCTC Diwali Offer 2018, Indian Railways general train tickets booking online: The Indian Railways has announced a new facility for the commuters to book general tickets and unreserved tickets online through its mobile UTS app. The travellers can also book tickets, get the train status online @ utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in or irctc.co.in.

NEW DELHI: In view of the ongoing festive season, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has announced a new facility for the commuters. According to the reports, the Indian Railways is likely to provide a new facility to book general tickets through UTS app or @ utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in or irctc.co.in. The facility to book online general tickets will be provided from November 1, 2018, before Diwali this year. The Indian Railways has also announced to run additional festive special trains to clear the rush of passengers.

The commuters who travel in the general category may now book their tickets, book tickets against cancellation and check the train status and timings through online. A senior Railway official told reporters that commuters may buy tickets through Railways UTS mobile app and get the unreserved seats. The IRCTC’s new facility will be available nationwide from November 1, 2018.

A senior railways official reportedly said, “We have been trying to engage people to encourage them to use the UTS mobile application more and more. The numbers are growing and we are hopeful that once passengers understand the benefits of this app, they will buy their tickets online. With certain zones not being a part of the app, a lot of passengers were unable to use it. Any station intersecting these zones was left out of the app. From November 1, it will be available across India.”

Here’s what users say about the railways’ Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS App)

UTS app users say money is deducted for ticket bookings which don’t get registered in the system; refunds take up to ten days.

The railways had hoped that the UTS (unreserved ticketing system) app will prove a gamechanger in creating cashless, paperless, and queue-free system of booking tickets and train passes. Scores of people, however, say that forget about offering convenience, the app was more likely to raise the users’ blood pressure levels due to largescale glitches.

The commonest complaint is the app deducts money for the tickets, but the bookings don’t get reflected in the system. If this wasn’t irritating enough, users are forced to wait out 10 days for the refunds to come in.

One such complainant, Manish Kumar from Meerut, said he used the app to book a ticket to Mumbai on October 5. “The amount was deducted but the booking did not come through, nor did it show in the app’s booking history. I had to visit the railway station to book the ticket, and I’m still waiting for the refund,” Kumar said yesterday.

Thane resident Mamata Prabhu said she’s waiting for two refunds to come through, as she couldn’t book a season ticket from Thane to Kanjurmarg on two occasions. “Unlike other apps, UTS has no passbook or details of transactions and it is very easy to lose track of small transactions,” Prabhu said.

It reported last week that commuters who booked local train season tickets through UTS and obtained printouts of the same through automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) complained that the tickets faded in just a week. Many users have said they are unable to access their accounts after changing the mobile phone, and in several cases, users haven’t been able to book tickets as they are shown at, or very close to the station (passenger needs to be around 25-30 metres from the station to avail the UTS app).

Users said it was indeed difficult to keep track of transactions, and there could be several people who wouldn’t bother wasting their time in repeatedly complaining about refunds. “I am yet to get a refund of around Rs 90, which I haven’t bothered to follow up,” a Kalyan resident who didn’t want his name in print said.

The app is developed and maintained by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and is available to download for Android, iOS and Windows phone users. The railway officials blamed the glitches on a few “external reasons”, including “poor phone network” and “problems in the handset”. “More than 2 lakh people use the app daily in Mumbai alone, and if there are say a hundred complaints, that doesn’t mean the app is a failure,” a railway official said.

Senior officials however conceded that payment gateway was an area of concern. “Three external agencies are involved in the payment gateway and that’s the main reason for transaction failures,” arailway official said.

Ravinder Bhakar, the Western Railway’s chief public relations officer, said CRIS and IRCTC have already been told to investigate the complaints. Bhakar’s counterpart in the Central Railway, Sunil Udasi, added that all complaints were promptly attended to.

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