In the wake of growing complaints from the public regarding server inaccessibility when booking Tatkal tickets, the IRCTC has barred agents from availing this facility for an hour, when it opens at 8 a.m.Tatkal booking opens two days ahead of departure, and a daily 15-minute server failure meant booking was hampered.
The allegation is that this was done to benefit the IRCTC agents, as one is forced to go through them to book Tatkal tickets, having to pay a heavy premium.
Within a matter of minutes, all the Tatkal tickets get booked, leaving the general public high and dry. Then the IRCTC website would start functioning normally all through the day.
The railways sell about 9.5-lakh tickets for reserved berths of all categories each day, of which Tatkal accounts for 1.5-lakh tickets.
Similarly, agents have been denied access to booking general tickets for reserved berths on the opening day for advanced booking on any train which is 90 days ahead of the schedule.
The IRCTC has maintained that if this arrangement is made permanent it would provide relief to the public.