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.

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