Alternate seating arrangements have been made for commuters on Metro 1
MUMBAI: Travellers will not be able to book tickets for point-to-point long-distance train journeys within Maharashtra as the state has banned inter-district travel. Bookings opened online on Thursday for around 200 trains to run from June 1, though not without glitches or disappointment, coupled with allegations that touts were on the prowl once again.
The rule means that someone in Maharashtra can book a ticket for a destination in any other state, but not within. “A train to Hyderabad from Mumbai has a halt at Pune. But passengers will not be allowed to alight there, though those boarding for an onward journey will be allowed in,” explained a Central Railway official. He said the railways has disabled booking options for those attempting to buy tickets for journeys within the state.
Following the state’s order, a circular was issued to the IRCTC and the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) by the Railway Board: “Tickets of all passengers whose originating as well as terminating stations fall within (Maharashtra should be) cancelled and full refund given.” An SMS will be sent to the buyers of such tickets about the refund.
After online bookings opened on Thursday morning, tickets for trains to north India were exhausted within minutes, though there was tepid response to trains to and from the cyclone-hit eastern states.
Many were unable to get tickets till late in the evening and some users were unable to login despite several attempts. Many complained that money was deducted but tickets were not generated. Some complained that the trains they wanted bookings for were not on the list. Touts too are alleged to have played spoilsport. Railway activist Subhash Gupta said, “Tickets for trains in demand for UP or Bihar was out of bounds for lawful citizens as touts, with the help of illegal software, were able to corner the bulk of tickets.”
On Twitter, a user, @lawaniya_manish, posted: “Failure to book ticket on IRCTC website since 10:00 am today from BTE i.e Bharatpur to BRC i.e, Vadodara. There is some error showing while booking the same… Need some answers from IRCTC and Ministry of Railways.”