VELLORE: Aadhaar-based ticketing system announced by the Indian Railways from April 1 to provide concession for senior citizens has failed to take off, thanks to technical constraints in validating the Aadhaar card numbers.
Under the system, all men above 60 are eligible for 40 per cent concession, while women above 58 can avail 50 per cent concession.
The concession will be available in all classes and trains, including Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express.
Though the railways had earlier said that concession cannot be availed from April 1 without Aadhaar linkage, the same has been allowed sans Aadhaar linkage since Saturday while booking tickets through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) portal and ticket counters.
Official IRCTC sources from Chennai told Express that there were issues with the verification system and passenger details provided in IRCTC portal could not be validated with Aadhaar card details. “The issues have been conveyed to the Centre for Railway Information Systems and they are making efforts to fix them,” they said.
The sources added that it might take a little longer time to resolve the issue.
With an intention to curb malpractices by touts to avail concessions for senior citizens, Indian Railways, in December 2016, announced that the registration of Aadhaar card with IRCTC was mandatory to avail the concession from April 1 and a hard copy have to be submitted at PRS counters while booking the tickets.
However, during the first phase (from January 1 to March 31), the railway announced that it would remain optional. Passengers have to log into the IRCTC account before adding their details in the master’s list.
After filling the details including name, sex, age and Aadhaar card number, passengers should click on ‘add passenger’ and then on ‘verify’ option for validating the Aadhaar card.
Many passengers said they were unable to get their Aadhaar cards validated and were receiving error messages.
S Gopalakrishnan (67), a retired school teacher from Vellore told Express that while the system validated his Aadhaar card he has been unsuccessful in updating his wife’s Aadhaar details.
“After entering the relevant information, when I clicked verification button it pop ups error message. After three attempts I got a message: ‘Your Aadhaar verification limits have been exhausted for today. Please try again tomorrow.’ But it didn’t happen for next 10 days.”
Sources from the commercial department of Southern Railway told Express that they have been updating the Aadhaar details of senior citizens at Passenger Reservation System counters. “However, for the last seven days, we have been asked not to demand Aadhaar cards for concessions,” the sources added.