Will help students from other parts of TN, country book tickets easily; similar initiative at IIT-M a big hit, say officials

Soon, students of Sathyabama University may be able to book railway tickets from their campus, as the postal department is planning to set up a counter there. This would help many students who are from other parts of the State and country to book tickets to their hometowns, officials said.

The department is currently studying a proposal to determine the feasibility of this project.

If set up, the counter will function from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on all working days. It will be open for two hours between 10 a.m. and noon for booking tatkal tickets.

At present, the postal department offers such passenger reservation systems in seven places across the Chennai city region as part of a tie-up with Southern Railway. Besides those at Thiruvettipuram in Tiruvannamalai district, Ginjee and Villupuram, the department offers the service in Sriperumbudur, Kalpakkam and Shastri Bhavan.

Recently, a passenger reservation system counter was inaugurated at the IIT-Madras post office, officials said. Students at IIT-M said the facility was particularly useful for tatkal booking. Many of them opt for tatkal tickets as they often go on unplanned holiday or visits to their hometowns.

Sreenidhi Krishnan, a third-year student of humanities, said “I frequently travel to Kerala. Booking tatkal tickets online is difficult as hundreds of people all over are attempting to book simultaneously. If it hadn’t been for this counter, I would have to wait in long queue at Guindy railway station to buy train tickets.”

Postmaster general, Chennai City Region, Mervin Alexander said the department plans to open more such facilities wherever there is demand – be it at educational institutions or residential hubs. “We chose places that do not have Southern Railway centres for ticket reservations,” he said.

Among the post offices that offer the reservation service, the Shastri Bhavan post office is the most sought after with nearly 2,000 bookings done every month. It earns the department a revenue of Rs. 35,000 a month.

A total of around 9,000 bookings are done from all seven of the passenger reservation system counters, (excluding the one at IIT-M) every month. The department gets a revenue of nearly Rs. 2 lakh a month from these facilities.

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