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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Indian Railways' Green Initiative in Online Ticket Printing

Travel aids too can be environment friendly, a corporate caring to save greenery with just a little message in online reservation portal, a stylish Social, Responsibility of rail admins.

The Indian railways first made the planning of travel easier by implementing an efficient system for online booking of tickets, and now it has gone a step further – gone are the days when you had to produce a printed version of your e-ticket. According to notices put up on the railways website and printed in national newspapers, passengers do not need to carry a hard copy of their tickets.

It is enough to prove the authenticity of your ticket that you have with you the sms about the booking of the e-ticket, or a screenshot of the e-ticket on your phone or camera, or the ticket saved on your laptop. This electronic copy of the ticket is called Virtual Reservation Message (VRM), and along with a valid identification proof, it is all you need to produce before the Ticket Examiner.

However, through my observations of fellow passengers and conversations with friends, it seems that people have not taken this very seriously. A majority of people still have their tickets printed – and this is no small matter, because the official website of the Indian Railways says that these printed sheets account for a staggering 3 lakhs of wasted A4 sheets daily!

Perhaps this is because of the fear resulting from all we know or have heard of the arbitrariness of government officials – nobody wants to be told to get off a train, in the middle of nowhere because they aren't carrying a printed copy of their e-ticket. That thought needs to change – it is perfectly fine to carry a VRM with you instead.

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