New Delhi: In an entire new initiative by the Railways, SMS alerts will be sent to passengers in case of train delays. The Railway has even confirmed the setting up of 4,615 water vending machines at a number of railway stations to facilitate passengers at he respective stations. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, while replying to questions in the Lok Sabha, indicated that SMS service on train delays is under consideration.
"There is a provision in this regard," he said when asked whether such a facility would be available to passengers on the pattern of SMS alerts about status of train bookings. Sinha said the capacity of the e-ticket system has been expanded and now as many as 7,200 tickets can be booked per minute. Earlier, only 2000 tickets could be booked per minute.
"In the time to come, we will increase the (ticket booking) capacity," he added.The railway has taken various measures to make booking or reservation of tickets easier and user friendly, he said.Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) counters have been provided at more than 5,800 locations and around 1,500 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines have been installed. To another question, the minister said as a recent initiative, water vending machines are to be set up by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation at identified railway stations to provide low cost clean drinking water.
Sinha said it is the endeavour of the railways to provide drinking water at all stations as per norms depending upon the volume of passenger traffic handled.In water-scarcity areas where existing sources are found inadequate to meet the water requirement at stations, water supply is augmented through tankers, the minister said.
"However, some instances of booking of tickets by individual for commercial gains have been reported. Several checks have been introduced to curb the problem," he said.