IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) website (irctc.co.in) and app is the go-to destination for booking train tickets – but on Friday morning the website and app were down for nearly 2 hours! Several reports suggested that users, when the tried to open the IRCTC website, were greeted with a message on maintenance activity. According to the message on the IRCTC website, the e-ticketing service was unavailable. The message asked users to try booking tickets after some time. For cancellation and filing of TDR, customers were asked to call on the provided numbers. The IRCTC app too did not allow users to book tickets, and displayed a message about data not being retrieved. The IRCTC website and app were reportedly down between 11:00 AM to 12:45 PM. The Railway Ministry is yet to issue any official statement on the same, even as Financial Express Online has tried to contact the spokespersons.
Several users took to Twitter to vent their anger on the Railway Ministry and IRCTC for not being allowed to book tickets, especially at a time when the online window for tatkal ticket booking opens. From server error to downtime maintenance message, the IRCTC website displayed different messages – leading both the official IRCTC handle and the Railway Ministry Twitter handle to face backlash on Twitter. Incidentally, as part of routine maintenance, the IRCTC website and app were unavailable from May 2, 10:45 PM onwards to 5:00 AM on May 3. During that time the IRCTC website and app was unavailable along with the Passenger Reservation System (PRS), 139 enquiry system etc.
Summer season is vacation time especially with schools and colleges across the country being shut for holidays. It’s also the season when most people, especially students, book train tickets for a holiday or for heading to their hometown. Indian Railways runs summer special trains to clear the rush and IRCTC website and app are bound to witness a surge in traffic for the same. IRCTC also offers several vacation tours and packages around this time. At such a time, for the IRCTC website and app to be down is bound to be a big irritant for passengers and users.