In the last few months, the government has revised various rules pertaining to the online railway ticket booking like availing Senior Citizen Quota, Child Fare etc. It has now brought down the maximum tickets a user can book on IRCTC from 10 a month to 6 a month. The government maintains that this change won’t affect genuine users.
After a slew of measures like revision of rules for availing Senior Citizen Quota and Child Fare, the Ministry of Railways has now come up with more restrictions on the usage of IRCTC, in a bid to curb misuse of the IRCTC platform by touts. In a latest move, the government has put a cap on the number of tickets an individual user can book per month. From the current maximum of 10 tickets per user per month, the government has reduced the maximum number to 6 tickets per user per month. This change will be effective from 15th February, 2016.
User Restrictions on IRCTC
Currently, the following restrictions are put in place to prevent misuse of IRCTC by touts and fake agents.
- Individuals are allowed only 2 tickets per user in a day between 8am and 10am for Advanced Reservation (ARP)
- Individuals are allowed only 2 tickets per user in a day between 10am and 12pm for Tatkal Booking
- Quick Book Option is disabled from 8am to 12pm everyday
- All types of ticketing agents are debarred from booking tickets during the first thirty minutes of opening of booking i.e.
- From 8am to 8.30am for General Bookings
- From 10am to 10.30am for AC Tatkal Bookings
- From 11am to 11.30am for Non-AC Tatkal Bookings
- Booking is not allowed through e-wallet and cash cards from 8am to 12pm everyday
- Only one booking in one user login session except for return/onward journey from 8am to 12pm everyday
- Maximum of 6 tickets per user per month (effective from 15th February, 2016)
The new restriction of maximum 6 tickets per user per month will replace the existing provision of maximum 10 tickets per user per month. However, the existing condition of booking only 2 tickets between 8am and 10am for general bookings and only 2 tickets between 10am and 12pm for tatkal bookings will continue.
The Government is confident that this move won’t affect Genuine Users
As per the data available with the government, 90% of the users book only up to 6 tickets in a given month and only 10% book more than 6 tickets month. The government suspects that the 10% users might be touts or fake agents. The government believes that this move will deter touts and help genuine users. Only time will tell if this change will help.