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Train and reservation status to be available on Phone No.139

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) Come April next year, you just have to make a local call on phone number 139, and you will get all the information about your reservation status and the schedule of trains anywhere in the country.

This is one of the several schemes announced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation LTD (ICRTC) as part of its measures to substantially upgrade the profile of passenger amenities.

The 139 call service will be in addition to the similar facility available at Phone No. 131, which is being provided by RailTel, another public sector undertaking of the Railway Ministry.

For providing this facility, call centres will be established in the four metors of Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, which will have the facility of Interactive Voice Control System (IVCS).

Announcing this at a press conference here, IRCTC Managing Director P K Goyal said the Corporation had entered into an agreement with a consortium of three companies -- Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Ltd, BSNL and Stracon of the Modi group.

''Phone No. 139 has been reserved by the Telecommunication Department for the railway Enquiry Service,'' he said.

Giving details of the scheme, he said the entire investment would be made by the consortium, which would be in the range of Rs 50-60 crore while the operating cost would be Rs 25 crore.

Mr Goyal said inquiry can also be made through cell phones on which SMS alerts about status of trains and ticket reservation will also be provided.

''This is going to mark a paradigm shift in passenger amenities as it will shorten the queue at ticket windows,'' he said, adding that the call centres would be professionally managed.

About e-ticketing, Mr Goyal said the reponse had been enthusiastic. ''Yesterday, a total of 29,000 tickets were booked through e-ticketing facility. This has given a tremendous fillip to the scheme. We are going to double the capacity of our computers so that at least 50,000 tickets can be booked next month.'' UNI/SKS PK MIR HT1530

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