How to avoid rush at counters and book rail tickets by SMS
Ticket booking through non-internet based mobile, launched as a pilot project by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), will also help the railways overcome the menace of touts.
Online booking of tickets is now around 45 percent of total reserved tickets and has eased the rush at booking counters.
Since the mobile penetration in India has increased rapidly and more than 80 per cent people have mobile phones, the new system will be helpful in enabling booking of tickets by people themselves.
How it works
For availing of this facility, register your mobile number with your bank. The bank will provide a mobile money Identifier (MMId) and one-time password (OTP) for authorization of payment. Then register with the IRCTC.
For booking a ticket SMS travel details to the dedicated numbers (139 or 5676714). It should include train number, date of journey, boarding station and destination and class of travel, besides name, age and gender of the passenger.
On receiving the SMS, the IRCTC will send a transaction ID.
The passenger has to reply to the SMS with PAY followed by the transaction ID and the bank password (OTP). This confirms booking and the ticket amount will be deducted from your bank account.
On successful booking of ticket, a message will be sent to the user by IRCTC which will be sufficient as the valid travel document along with photo ID card in original.
A text message to the dedicated numbers enough and there will be no need for internet at any stage - booking, payment, cancellation etc.
The scheme will not be available during 8 am-12 pm for booking ARP/tatkal/general tickets.