Linking of Aadhaar cards with train tickets would be mandatory effective December, 2016, which means that passengers who don’t have Aadhaar Card, won’t be able to issue train tickets. This major collaboration between Aadhaar and train tickets would be made compulsory for both reserved and unreserved categories; besides holding true for online as well as counter tickets.
Already more than 96% of Indians have an Aadhaar Card; and the remaining few would be now forced to apply for one. The linking of Aadhaar database with IRCTC’s ticketing system is already on, and the process is expected to be over by December.
Advantage: Aadhaar in Train Bookings
There are innumerable advantages of linking Aadhaar with train bookings, as there would be a centralized, well documented and live database of passengers which can be immensely useful for various purposes. However, the intention of Indian Railways to link Aadhaar immediately has been mainly inspired from three factors:
a) Giving out concessions would be easier and fair now. As Aadhaar card would be directly linked with the ticket, the railway authorities would be able to easily check whether the concession is eligible or not. Ticket collectors would be carrying mobile handheld device, which will instantly verify the claims of the passenger. As shared earlier, Railways provide concessions across more than 50 categories, and a substantial portion of them is misused.
b) The use Aadhaar card would stop unauthorized agents and touts from booking tickets in fake names, and then selling them at higher prices. IRCTC CMD A K Manocha said, “We have started the process to issue Aadhar based ticketing and likely to be rolled out by December this year . People will now have to provide Aadhaar number for registering with IRCTC. This will check fraudulent booking by touts and being transparency in the ticketing,”
c) Every train passenger would be able to get insurance now. As of now, only online booking of train tickets allow passengers to opt for travel insurance, which would be now offered to counter ticket holders as well; and most importantly, unreserved passengers as well.
Since Indian Railways introduced travel insurance, around 27 lakh passengers have availed insurance, costing around 10 paisa to 90 paisa per trip. With Aadhaar, all passengers would be able to use this privilege.
Manocha further said, “About 27 lakh passengers have availed the travel insurance since the launch of insurance on September 1. The reason we have not covered unreserved category yet is that we don’t have any database of people travelling in unreserved coaches but with Aadhar that is possible. It will also bring the insurance premium from 92 paise now to somewhere around 10-50p per travel,”