Railways ‘relaunches’ e-ticketing regime LAHORE: Pakistan Railways (PR) launched on Monday e-ticketing system to enable passengers to get their seats reserved while remaining at home or at workplace.
Initially, the system has been introduced in Green Line Express besides five rail cars, said Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique at a news conference in Lahore on Monday.
Within the next eight months, e-ticketing facility would be available for all passenger trains of the Pakistan Railways, said Mr Rafique while adding that another milestone in passenger facilitation was achieved on Oct 3.
Implementation of the system would not only end black marketing of tickets but also improve the accounting system of the PR, he said.
The Federal Government Inspectorate of Railways had submitted a detailed report about the smashing of Awam Express into a goods train on Sept 15 with the railways ministry.
The facility was introduced in 2007 but discontinued after some months
Departmental action against nine employees found responsible in the inquiry would be initiated within a couple of days.
“The driver, assistant driver and guard of Awam Express are found directly responsible while the goods train driver and guard, station master of Shershah station, Multan chief controller and his deputy besides section controller would be issued show-cause notices and given an opportunity to defend themselves,” he said.
Regarding his recent visit to China, the minister said it was aimed at making progress on PR share in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
“Modalities to sign an agreement regarding framework of phase-I of Main Line 1 have been discussed. We informed our Chinese partners that we do not require commercial loan as it has never been viable for any railways. Instead, we insisted on getting long-term concessional loan. We also asked them to involve Pakistani companies in the project though the Chinese wanted to complete the whole work by their own companies,” he said.
Earlier, PR Director (information Technology) Fahad Rahman said that under an agreement inked between the PR and the United Bank Ltd (UBL) on Aug 10, the commuter would now buy an E-ticket through the Pakistan Railways website www.pakrail.gov.pk after making payment instantly by using any debit or credit card.
“Payment can also be made through mobile banking and 45,000 UBL Omni shops to buy e-tickets. On completion of the transaction, the PR will send a SMS or email to the passengers containing ticket number, coach number, seat number, CNIC number of the passenger besides date and time of the train. The SMS or (printout) of the email will be treated as a ticket,” said Mr Rahman.
This is for the second time the PR has introduced e-ticketing system. Earlier, it had in October 2007 launched e-ticketing system with the collaboration of e-merchant services of Citibank. Of the 121 passengers who got their seats reserved through the system, some 59 got their tickets cancelled and only 64 travelled.
However, the system was discontinued on Jan 8, 2008, when Citibank refused to accept two clauses of the agreement it (the bank) had signed with the PR.
Another proposal was presented by the MCB for providing E-ticketing gateway to the PR submitted in January 2008 which remained ‘under consideration’ of the railways management till 2014.