Friday, December 13, 2013

IRCTC Website of Indian Railways Experiences Low Bandwidth.

IRCTC website is getting slower day by day. It hangs, refuses to proceed and gives one liners like "service unavailable". The railway minister himself has accepted this in Rajya Sabha on December 14th 2012.
Railway Minister P.K. Bansal has admitted in Rajya Sabha that on many instances the website, for booking online railway tickets in India was experiencing slowdowns and server errors. Online reservation is being done through the website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (I R C T C), a subsidiary of Indian Railways. Currently the organization has 58 iridium servers and all other technical infrastructure to cater to the needs of the public, however it fails to withstand the heavy load during peak hours in the morning and during holidays.

For availing online reservation one needs to register with the website and provide the personal details like name, address, valid mobile number, valid email and other contact information. Upon registration a welcome mail with username and password and an activation link to access the website will be sent to the applicant. A mobile verification code is also sent to the registered mobile number and the user needs to provide the code when activating the account. The payment options for booking the tickets include credit cards, debit cards, internet banking and cash cards. The passenger can look the PNR status at frequent intervals after booking the ticket. The amount paid for any wait listed ticket will be refunded back in case reservation is not available.

The website provides other information like tour packages, hotels, flights and offer tailor made tour packages to both Indians and foreigners. According to a recent Alexa review on the website, an average user spends around 10 minutes browsing the website and most of the visitors were Asians accessing the website either from home or from their workplace.

Although hundreds of passengers use the website for online booking, complaints regarding its slow speed and many other booking and cancellation issues are on rise day by day. It is argued that the authorities intentionally do not provide extra bandwidth to the website to help the outside agents. According to railways, a sudden surge in online traffic especially during the booking of Tatkal ticket creates trouble to the website.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IRCTC Upgading its site

Dear readers, ther is some good news in the offing. IRCTC in its endeavour to provide hassle free service its online customers is upgading its site. Now the website will be able to book 8 lacs ticket per day.
According to a recent article published in TOI:

Both the IRCTC and the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) are working jointly to double the web site's capacity from the current four lakh bookings a day to eight lakh a day.

In recent past, a number of steps have been taken, including installation of high capacity database servers, and increasing the internet bandwidth from 344Mbps to 450Mbps. IRCTC has also deactivated thousands of the multiple user IDs and individual user IDs of agents, who would jam the systems, causing servers to hang during peak hours.

An IRTC official said, "The problem of failed transactions is also because of the system issues of banks with whom we have tied up. Ideally, a transaction should get completed in two minutes but on some payment gateways, the time taken is more than this, resulting in failed transactions."

The corporation, on its part, said it is working on a payment system that will reduce transaction failures. It is also trying to lessen the burden on their website by roping in other travel portals for faster bookings.
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