Aadhaar could be included in railway reservation process

To prevent the involvement of agents in railway’s ticket reservation process, Railway Ministry is mulling over a proposal to include Aadhaar in the reservation system. Under this proposal Aadhar card will be mandatory for the person on whose name reservation will be made. The proposal is expected to be accepted from the upcoming fiscal year. According to the sources the use of Aadhaar in the reservation process will be first made on online ticket reservation (E-Ticket) system and then later on the counters at the railway stations. CRIS has already begun the proceedings for this implementation. TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) will carry a handheld terminal machine with him in the train during the journey. This machine will keep a record of all the details of the passengers.

The machine will operate by matching the thumb impression of the passenger with the data already stored in the machine. If the record does not match then it will become clear whether passenger is not genuine. This complete system will be recorded and even the TTE cannot save fake passenger. For the sake of facility of the passenger, compulsion of Aadhar card will be deployed in four phases. In the first phase Aadhar card will be in the list of ID proof documents along with other valid proofs so that passengers without their Aadhar cards can also book ticket reservation. Aadhar card has already been included in the list of ID proofs for online Tatkal ticket booking. In the second phase it will be applied with the current ticket system. In the third phase it will be made mandatory for Tatkal ticket booking. In the final phase this scheme will be applied in the normal reservation system. The online ticket booking website of railways (IRCTC) is also being updated for this.

Although government has shown concern about this issue of agent’s involvement in ticket reservation, the solution from the government does not appear to be of practical use. Even government is well aware about the slow progress of Aadhaar in the country the proposal might take several years to be incorporated into the existing reservation system. In a country with a population of more than 121 crore, where majority of the people have not even enrolled for their Aadhaar, where more than 15 lac people travel on reservation every day, the inclusion of Aadhaar in the reservation process seems very impractical. If this happens somehow quickly, there is certainly going to be a great chaos for both the passengers and the government. So, don’t expect it to be a reality in the coming 3 to 4 years.

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