A week after the government told the Supreme Court that it would keep the Aadhar identification system voluntary, the Indian Railways has said that starting April 1 next year, Aadhaar card verification will be mandatory for senior citizen passengers in order to avail discounts in various categories while booking tickets.
The requirement, which will be optional during the January-March 2017 period, will apply mandatorily from April at both counters and for e-ticket bookings.
“The linking of Aadhaar cards with train tickets for senior citizens is a salutary measure designed to streamline the reservation process for people in such a category. This is a most ambitious push to Aadhaar-based ecosystem in Indian Railways network that would end fraudulent bookings and curb cases of impersonation. In future, all ticket bookings will require an Aadhaar card,” IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director AK Manocha said.
News agency PTI reported that the Ministry of Railways has decided to implement Aadhaar-based ticketing system for senior citizens in a two-phased manner.
Accordingly, from January 1 to March 31, 2017, requirement of Aadhaar verification for getting concessional tickets for senior citizens will be on a voluntary basis.
From April 1, 2017, such a requirement would become mandatory.
The advance verification of senior citizens through Aadhaar card has already been taken up by providing notice to these passengers to submit their Aadhaar card details online on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website or through the reservation offices from December 1 this year onwards.
With effect from April 1, 2017, passengers in the senior citizen category will need to carry any of the original documents, including Aadhaar card, for the purpose of identity proof, he said.
However, verification will be optional during the implementation of the first phase if a senior citizen wants to purchase ticket on full fare. But there will be no change in procedure with regard to concession to senior citizens in unreserved ticketing.
“It will bring in transparency in rail ticket reservations for senior citizens, making the verification process easy and convenient. It will also prevent misuse of such a facility as ticket collectors can instantly verify the claims of passengers. Our objective is to ensure that only bona fide passengers with legitimate tickets travel in trains and thereby prevent revenue losses to Indian Railways,” he said.
A major benefit of Aadhaar-linked rail reservations for senior citizens is that it will stop touts and unauthorised agents from booking tickets in fake names and then selling these at a higher price.
The procedure for authentication of Aadhaar details on the IRCTC website is quite easy. One has to log in using his/her User ID and password on the IRCTC ticketing website. Then they have to click on ‘Master List’ under ‘My Profile’ Menu.
While adding new senior citizen passengers in the Master List, they need to provide correct and complete details like name, date of birth and gender as mentioned in the Aadhaar Card. Thereafter, they have to select Senior Citizen Concession Option as Yes/No, ID card type and provide Aadhaar number.
As a next step, they have to click on ‘Add Passenger’ button to add senior citizen passenger and authenticate Aadhaar details. Passengers will be then added in the Master List after verifying their details.