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To enable auto upgrade of waitlists — CRIS working on changes to Railways software

Mamuni Das

The concept of waitlisted passengers, as well as upgradation facility would also be introduced for passengers booking tickets under Tatkal scheme.

New Delhi , Oct. 7

THE Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the IT arm of the Indian Railways, is working on changes in the software used for issuing tickets that would enable the Railways upgrade passengers to higher service classes of travel (in case of vacancy) to accommodate waitlisted passengers.

Having received the procedural specifications from the Ministry, the CRIS Managing Director, Mr M.R. Ramakrishnan, told Business Line,

"We are currently working on the required changes."

The concept of waitlisted passengers as well as upgradation facility would also be introduced for passengers booking tickets under the Tatkal scheme.

"At present, waitlisted tickets are not issued in the Tatkal scheme. Thus, if somebody cancels a ticket during the day after booking under the Tatkal scheme, then the seat remains unused or is allotted by the ticket checker," Mr Ramakrishnan said.

On the likely time required for implementing the changes in the software, Mr Ramakrishnan said, "We should be able to complete the work by December."

In the face of increasing competition from low-cost airlines and with an aim to turn into a customer-friendly organisation and increase its earnings, the Railways plans to start a slew of offerings that include free upgradation of passengers to higher classes that have vacancies.

To ensure that there are no vacant seats/berths, the Railways would upgrade customers to the higher layers of travel, free of cost, a few hours before the train departs — just when the reservation charts are finalised.

Broadly, the occupancy levels are 47 per cent in AC I, 62 per cent in AC II, 72 per cent in AC III and 112 per cent in Sleeper Class. These levels vary by trains and seasons.

To have "at least some earnings" from these vacant seats/berths, the Railways plans to upgrade reserved passengers to the higher classes (if there are vacancies) through a computerised random selection process undertaken. Passengers would be informed through SMSs/phone calls from the Railways' call centre.

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