According to the Railways, there were 10,500 vacant berths in Mail/Express trains and about 17,000 passengers with reserved tickets did not turn up on 4 August, as detected through the portal monitoring system.
With the aim of bringing in transparency in allotting berths to waitlisted passengers, Indian Railways would provide hand-held terminals to all train ticket examiners, doing away with the manual procedure still practised in the onboard ticketing system in Mail/Express trains.
If a passenger with a reserved ticket did not turn up or cancelled the journey at the last minute, the vacant berth would be automatically shown in the passenger reservation system enabling the TTE using the device to allot it to a waitlisted or a reservation against cancellation (RAC) passenger onboard.
TTE would allot the berth onboard using the hand-held terminal on the spot, a step being considered to prevent the revenue leakage and also saving rims of papers.
The availability of vacant berths and allotment of tickets to waitlisted passengers would be monitored online in real-time, eliminating the scope of manipulation in the allotment of tickets in trains.
While about 10,000 hand-held terminals are already being distributed to TTEs, 17,000 more such devices are to be given shortly covering the entire TTE staff in the Railways.
Estimated to cost Rs 8,500 a piece, the hand-held device, would be linked to a portal created by the CRIS, the Railways software arm. The portal is being constantly monitored in the Railway Board to ascertain the reservation status in all trains.
According to the Railways, there were 10,500 vacant berths in Mail/Express trains on 4 August detected through the portal monitoring system out of which 1,800 RAC and 917 waitlisted passengers were allotted berths onboard while 1,900 berths were surrendered to the passenger reservation system for the last minute passengers.
It was also found out that 17,000 passengers with reserved tickets did not turn up on 4 August.
Earlier, it was not possible to know the exact data on vacant berths on the same day as the system was dependent on manual feeding.
“Now we can decide on augmentation of coaches for a particular train after monitoring the status of reserved berths. Besides, more and more passengers would be benefitted at the last minute booking of online tickets or at the counters,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.