Bangladesh Railway on Wednesday started selling advance tickets ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival amid huge mismanagement in online ticket sale throughout the day.
On the day, railway sold advance tickets for journeys on May 31 from the counters across the capital and Chattogram railway station, between 9:00am and 4:00pm.
An Anti-Corruption Commission team visited Kamalapur railway station on Wednesday after allegations trickled in through its hotline over irregularities in online ticket sale.
Since morning, a huge number of users failed to enter railway’s newly-launched mobile app ‘Rail Sheba’ while those who could enter the app either did not get any confirmation on tickets even after making the payment and some found that most tickets were shown sold out.
During a visit, railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan said that the unsold online tickets would be sold at the counters from May 27.
Meanwhile, people also complained about lengthy registration process and few number tickets made available at the ticket counters, besides black marketing of tickets.
Most of the people intent on buying tickets, however, appreciated the initiative of selling advance tickets from Kamalapur, Tejgaon, Banani, Airport stations and Phulbaria area in the capital which, in their opinion, reduced the crowd as well as their sufferings.
The railway was scheduled to sell a total of some 25,571 advance tickets of 33 intercity trains on the day from capital while each half of these (12,785.5 tickets) were scheduled to be sold at counters and through Rail Sheba, railway’s website E Sheba and mobile SMS services.
Computer Network System Limited, appointed by railway for managing the sale of tickets online, managing director Moniruzzaman Chowdhury told New Age that till 5:45pm on Wednesday they sold 7,651 advance tickets online while 9,992 tickets were sold at the counters in Dhaka.
Md Morshedul Hasan, a student who came to Kamalapur station at 4:00am for buying ticket on Jashore route, complained that he bought a ticket at 9:08am using the app but did not get any confirmation email till 2:00pm.
Many users alleged that after trying to obtain tickets through the app since morning they found that most shobhon chair and AC car tickets were sold out and alleged that these were being sold in the black market.
People from Tejgaon and Airport stations counters also alleged that that most of the tickets were sold within an hour.
Railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan visited the station around 10:30am while he said that there was a problem in the server and it was due to the service providers’ failure. ‘It is our failure too,’ he hastened to add.
If CNS Ltd failed to provide proper service in future, action would be taken against the company, he added.
The eight-member ACC team — led by assistant director Mohammad Alamgir and some police members — requested railway officers to conduct mobile courts at the station and said they would submit a report regarding the whole situation to the commission within 48 hours.
CNS Ltd managing director Moniruzzaman Chowdhury said on Wednesday that around one lakh users hit simultaneously for tickets while only a very few people were lucky enough to get the tickets.
The situation would be similar on the coming days as the demand would be equally high, he added.