To Buy a Single Platform Ticket
I am on my way from New Delhi to Kolkata for holiday, and catching the Rajdhani Express from New Delhi railway station. I arrive with plenty of time to spare at the railway station and then I find myself stuck in this mess called buying a platform ticket.
In India, it’s important to buy platform ticket, if you are waiting at the railway platform to pick up someone or is there to drop off someone. Buying a platform ticket is not required if one is travelling with a valid railway ticket, and one can only buy it from the few ticket counters on the platform, at the main entrance.
When was the last time you have travelled on train in India? If it is been a long time, then maybe you need is a refresher course. Yes, it’s a harrowing time you have to go through if you have to stand in the queue to buy your platform tickets, because you will be queuing with the travellers, or rather daily labourers from rural India, who have learnt only one thing, in their entire stay in the cities as migrant labourers, that if you don’t fend for yourself, no one gives a penny for your welfare. With the same attitude hey usually tackle the ticketing queues, resulting in frayed tempers, aggressive behaviour, loose morals and lascivious stares, if you happen to be a female, amidst the males.
A platform ticket costs Rs.5.00, which allows you to spend two hours on the platform waiting for your passenger to arrive. You can buy mostly all types of railway tickets through the IRCTC website, check your unique passenger status (PNR number) to see if your wait list ticket has been confirmed or not, through a wide mode of payment gateways of net banking, credit or debit cards; but alas, you cannot buy a railway platform ticket online.
It’s kind of sad, because in India, travelling by the Indian Railways is quite an affordable and safe mode of transport, and many people avail of it. Consequently, there are always people going to station to receive or drop off guests and hang around till the train departs. Allowing availability of platform tickets on the Internet platform, will ease the pressure on the railways counter booking staff a lot, and ease the stress on the visitors to the stations as well.
I had a bad time trying to buy the ticket, and I am hoping that someone someday will realise that it can make thongs a lot more convenient to allow people to buy railway platform tickets online. What do you say, will you like the alternative?