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23 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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First day of Eid advanced tickets

Rail ticket app fails to give services

CNS contract won’t be renewed if it fails to improve situation, says railway minister
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Rail ticket app fails to give services
Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital teems with ticket seekers and holidaymakers yesterday, the first day of the sale of advanced tickets for Eid-ul-Fitr. Inset, two passengers flash smile as well as their tickets. Photo: Sumanta Chakraborty

The Bangladesh Railway started selling advance tickets ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr yesterday (Wednesday). But the “Rail Sheba” application failed to give services as people used to get 50 per cent train tickets through the app.

The online ticket selling process "collapsed" as most of the users failed to enter the newly launched mobile app. For the first time, people got tickets from five points of Dhaka city. They faced less crowd than before at the five points, except Kamalapur Railway Station.

Railway minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan visited Kamalapur Railway Station around 10:30am to observe selling of tickets.

He apologised for the glitch in the app. “It is the fault of the railway authorities as well as the app company, Computer Network Systems (CNS),” he said. Asked whether any measures would be taken against the CNS, the minister said: “We signed a deal with the CNS in 2007. It is scheduled to end this year. But if they fail this time, we won’t renew the deal. The unsold tickets will be on sale at counters after five days from today (Wednesday). Each year, we sell tickets without any hassle. But this year the demand is much higher than our arrangement.”

The railway authorities are set to sell 27,700 tickets each day, of which 13,350 are available online. A private company, CNS Limited, is providing the service. After the minister's visit, a three-member delegation of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), led by its assistant director Md Alamgir, also visited the station after receiving a complaint on their hotline about the glitch in the app.

The ACC received the complaint this morning when a ticket seeker said the CNS app had deducted money through the app but did not issue the ticket. The complaint prompted the ACC delegation to visit the railway station where they confirmed the complaint.

Deputy assistant director of the ACC, Monirul Islam, urged the railway authorities to sort out the problem as soon as possible. Mobile courts should be deployed at the counters to avoid corruption and mismanagement, he said.

The employee of CNS Bangladesh deployed at the Kamalapur Railway Station could not give much details on the matter. He, however, told the ACC authorities that at least 1,752  tickets were sold through the app since the morning.

A large crowd was seen at the scene, standing in queues and collecting tickets from Kamalapur Railway Station from the morning.

The selling of tickets began at 9:00am and continued till 5:00pm. Each person was able to buy a maximum of four tickets.

Customers alleged that the ticket-selling process was slow at the counters due to the newly introduced registration process.

Half of the tickets would to be sold through online, while the rest would be available at the counters at Kamalapur, Airport, Banani and Tejgaon railway stations and Phulbaria, according to railway sources.

The ACC team found that tickets of all Shovon chairs and AC coaches were sold from Kamalapur station counters within an hour.

Besides, customers from Tejgaon station counters also alleged that that most of the tickets were sold out within an hour.

Kamalapur Railway Station manager Sitangshu Chakrabarty said: “A monitoring team of the railway police, along with regular police and Ansar personnel, has been deployed at all five points to prevent any chaotic and subversive activities. No untoward situation has been seen so far.”

The four other stations had smaller crowds. At Airport Railway Station, where tickets of the Chattogram and Noakhali routes were being sold, people were happy as they did not face an overcrowded situation.

After buying a ticket for Noakhali, Monir Ali told The Independent: “Last year, we faced so much crowd, but this time it is much better. I couldn’t go to home for the last six months because of my studies. I can go now,” he said.

After getting tickets for Chattogram, Salma Sultana told The Independent that she was thankful to the government for taking the decision to  sell tickets from different stations.

Tickets for May 31 were being sold on Wednesday. Tickets for June 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be available on May 23, 24, 25 and 26, respectively.

Besides, return tickets for June 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 will be available on May 29, 30, 31, June 1 and 2, respectively, according to the Bangladesh Railway.

Advance tickets of all intercity trains on the west routes, via Jamuna Bridge, are being sold from Kamalapur station, tickets of trains on the Chattogram and Noakhali routes from Airport station, tickets of trains on the Mymensingh and Jamalpur routes from Tejgaon station, tickets for Netrokona-bound Mohanganj Express and Haor Express from Banani station, and tickets for Sylhet and Kishoreganj-bound trains are being sold from Phulbaria.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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