Lakhs of railway passengers were inconvenienced after the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, which caters to online ticket booking, crashed for at least half the day on Tuesday (July 25).
“There was some issue in authentication of transaction between the bank and the IRCTC in train ticket booking. When the issue was noticed in the morning, an expert team put all efforts to resume the online IRCTC website and mobile app ticketing service,” a spokesperson of the Indian Railways said.
The IRCTC servers have the capacity to book at least 26,000 tickets per minute. The IRCTC platform, which enables online booking, accounted for 80% of the total reserved tickets booked on Indian Railways in FY2021-22, according to a statement from the company.
On July 25, for nearly half a day starting morning when tatkal bookings open up at close to 10 a.m., hapless passengers started reporting trouble logging in to the website. Even after the Railways claimed that the website was restored, the load on the site was immense and some passengers complained they were unable to access the booking system.
“I have travelled to Lucknow for work and I was getting my office to book me a return ticket to Delhi, but to no avail. Ultimately I had to go to a physical counter at Gomtinagar to get a ticket. There they told me that the return ticket for July 26 train [Tejas] for 6.30 a.m. is only available online. I had to end up booking a 3.30 p.m. Shatabdi on the counter, thus wasting another half a day because online booking was not possible,” a 54-year-old passenger affected by the glitch told The Hindu.
The spokesperson claimed that up to 4.30 p.m. nearly 8.61 lakh tickets had been booked. The services were resumed at 1.30 p.m. for website and 1.50 p.m. for mobile app. “During this period, 72,967 tickets were already booked through IRCTC-authorised partners like Make My Trip and Amazon,” the spokesperson said.
“But there is a possibility that due to excessive load on the website bookings may not be going through for some passengers,” the spokesperson said.
It is uncanny for the IRCTC website which is only on a 35-minute break from 23.45 to 00.20 hours every day to be down and out for multiple hours.
The IRCTC website and mobile app cater to a massive population, and sell on an average 11.44 lakh tickets every day, according to FY2021-22 data. “This number has since gone up to 12 lakh daily tickets booked online each day,” the spokesperson said.