E-TICKETING SYSTEM FOR RAIL TRAVEL OF THE ARMED FORCES
Existing System of Rail Travel
The bulk of the transportation of Soldiers and Officers, in the country, takes place through Railways. 100% cost of travel in case of Govt duties & 40 – 50% cost of travel in case of personal moves is borne by the Govt of India. The rail tickets are issued by the Railways against an instrument called Railway Warrant. Railway warrants are issued by the unit concerned against Movement Order notified by the unit for travel of various types. Books of Railway warrants are accountable and auditable documents and blank books containing numbered warrants (foil and counterfoil) are provisioned by units directly from the Stationary Depots. Books are printed by the GOI press Nasik. Foils of Railway warrants of various types are presented by defence functionaries at PRS (Passenger Reservation System) and against these warrants which are retained by PRS of Railways, tickets for rail journey are issued.
Liability of the state for providing concessions ranging from 50% to 100% is borne by the Railways initially. Subsequently, after zone-wise consolidation of these used Railway warrants, references are made by Zonal Railways to RBI Nagpur and Defence Accounts Department (DAD) for debiting the defence budget. In addition to amount of railway ticket, railways also levy some amount as departmental charges (Rs. 50 per transaction) and this also gets loaded on defence transportation budget. Final classification of rail travel expenditure out of defence budget is made by DAD after scrutiny of the used Railway warrants received by them from 16 zones of Ministry of Railways.
The payment and accounting system is followed for the existing arrangements, through DAD. Railways follow their own procedures as laid down in their manuals for handling of the used Rail warrants and for obtaining reimbursement from Defence Accounts Department through RBI Nagpur. Ministry of Railways are not able to computerize this area of their functioning as the main input i.e. Railway warrant flows to them from our Defence system in manual format.
New System: Considering the cost and time involved in the existing system of railway ticketing through warrants and taking into account the recent development in Information Technology and e-governance initiatives taken by the railways, it was decided to initiate action to replace the existing cumbersome, costly and time-consuming system of warrants with the cost-effective efficient and less time-consuming system, which is based on the modern technology available.
E-ticketing system in lieu of Railway warrant is being developed via web services integration offered by IRCTC. Railway tickets can be booked by any unit over the internet through a centralized portal being developed by the CGDA. A predefined amount will be deposited in the Revolving Account at the central level with IRCTC. Tickets booked by any unit will be debited against this revolving account. The money will be recouped in the Revolving account periodically.
To ensure the proper audit of tickets being purchased, including the entitlement audit as per the Travel regulations and the accounting of the same, software is being developed. The data will be stored in the central server of the CGDA. The requisite MIS in soft data will be generated by the system. The exception reports/MIS generated from the system will be analyzed in detail to support the decision-making process.
Benefits of this system are as follows:-
Audit & Accounting of the travel entitlement will be automatically carried out the time of booking itself.
No wrong claim can be made by the Railways;
Cash handling will be nil.
Precious time of officer and PBORs being wasted in the Railway station as is happening in the present system will be avoided.
No extra workload at the unit level.
No involvement of postal Department.
The unit will be saved from the complicated task of handling accounting of warrants/Form’D’/CVs etc.
Proper budgetary control can be exercised and MIS for decision making will be available centrally.
No hassle in getting the refund for cancelled tickets
Minimum manual intervention, hence saving in manpower & administrative cost
Financial saving as the recurring processing charges to railways will be done away with.
Pilot Project: Pilot project for the E-ticketing was sanctioned by the Government of India on 8th June 2009. The proposed date of completion of the pilot project is December 2009. The pilot project will be implemented in 19 sites all across the country covering all the echelons of the Armed Forces.
Once the pilot project is implemented the same will be rolled out in a phased manner to all the units and formations of the Indian Defence Forces.
Read more at : CGDA e Ticketing