The 2006-07 Railway Budget presented in the Lok Sabha on Friday provides for special measures to reduce long queues at booking counters.
The facility of i-ticket and e-ticket has been introduced on all mail and express trains and passengers can now buy these tickets through travel agents, which will help greatly in reducing the rush at passenger reservation system counters.
Moreover, to make unreserved tickets available freely, agencies for issuing these tickets at roadside stations will be given to rural unemployed youths under the Gramin Ticket Booking Scheme.
Besides, pre-paid unreserved ticketing system counters will be made available to unemployed youth under the Jansadharan Ticket Booking Scheme.
Charges levied on issue of e-tickets have been reduced by Rs 20 per ticket in higher class and by Rs 15 per ticket in sleeper class.
The number of PRS and UTS will also be significantly increased this year. A total of 1,310 PRS centres and 425 UTS centres will be operational by the end of the current year as against 1,290 and 380 respectively functioning at present.
It is proposed to open 800 more UTS centres at all A, B, C and D category stations and some important E category stations in the coming year.
A pilot project is on cards to install 200 automatic ticket vending machines in Mumbai suburban areas of Central and Western railways.
These machines will be connected with the UTS and will dispense tickets automatically through smart cards.