Soon, those who prefer the old-fashioned way of booking railway tickets over online booking may not have to wait in long-winding queues.
The postal department is set to open counters at more post offices in and around the city.
The department already offers the passenger reservation system in eight places across Chennai city region (CCR), including post offices in IIT-Madras, Shastri Bhavan, Kalpakkam and Sriperumbudur. It is now awaiting the nod from Southern Railway to open counters in 47 more post offices in CCR, including nearly 20 in and around Chennai. Some of the post offices that have been identified are in Mahabalipuram, Park Town, T. Nagar, Chromepet, Mylapore, Avadi, Poonamallee, Teynampet, Anna Nagar, Tidel Park and Kattankulathur.
In all, the service will be extended and made available at 80 more post offices in the State.
In the Railway budget presented on Tuesday, Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda announced that ticket-booking through post offices and mobile phones would also be “popularised”. Officials of the postal department said they recently had a meeting with Southern Railway officials about expanding the services as well as tackling technical hitches in the online system.
Students from other parts of the country will not have to struggle to book tickets to their hometowns as post offices in educational institutions, including Madras University, Anna University, Sathyabama University, Pondicherry University and VIT University, will soon provide the facility.
On an average, 20,000 tickets are booked or cancelled through post offices in the State every month. Of this, 6,000 tickets are booked in CCR. Ticket booking fetches monthly revenue of Rs.1 lakh in the CCR.
Postmaster general (CCR) Mervin Alexander said the post office in Shastri Bhavan receives maximum patronage in city with nearly 2,800 transactions being made every month. “We plan to focus on popularising the service in rural areas. Mahindra World City, Chengalpettu and CMC Hospital post office will also offer such facilities,” he said.
Once the Southern Railway gives its approval, the postal department will introduce the service within a week, he added.