Railways have revised the time of booking of tatkal tickets with effect from July 10 in a bid to prevent touts from cornering tickets. Booking of tatkal tickets, permissible only one day in advance, will start at 1000 hours instead of 0800 hours for the general public, while no authorised agent, even from the IRCTC, will be allowed to book tickets online until 1200 hours.

By this decision taken by the Railway Board, the Railways hope to keep touts away from booking tickets surreptitiously the moment booking starts at the computerised reservation centres. The Railways have retained the restriction imposed on agents from booking general reserved tickets on the opening day for two hours, from 0800 hours to 1000 hours, to allow the general public to book tickets 120 days in advance.

The IRCTC is developing an e-ticket application to more than double the existing capacity to address online demand for tickets.

About 11.57 lakh berths and seats are booked a day, out of which tatkal accounts for 1.71 lakh seats and berths on 2677 trains. Tatkal booking yielded a revenue of Rs. 847 crore during 2011-12.

To prevent agents from cornering tickets, the IRCTC also proposes to capture their computers’ MAC ID, restrict booking per machine and link booking by individuals with UID and PAN

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