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Rail e-ticketing facility lanched for Armed Forces personnel

The Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj, launched a pilot project of rail e-ticketing for the Armed Forces, here today.

The project, being implemented by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), will initially be available at 20 locations across the country.

According to an official press release, Armed Forces personnel will now have the convenience to book and print tickets through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website at unit locations. The project will enable automatic generation of all accounting, payment and financial reports, it said.

Gen Bhardwaj said the new system would cut tedious paperwork and introduce seamless processing "in one stroke".

He hoped that the "PCDA (Principal Controller of Defence Accounts) Travel System" would slowly make the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) irrelevant and become a precursor to automation and better management.

The CGDA, Ms Bulbul Ghosh said the pilot project would gradually be expanded to more than 5,000 Army, Navy and Air Force units across the country.

The e-ticketing system will be completed in four phases, - the first phase will cover rail travel, air travel will be covered in the second phase, defence civilians will be included in the third phase and TA processing will be completely online in the final phase.

The main features of the e-ticketing facility are availability round-the-clock, user friendly, ease of operation and accounting while taking care of security concerns.

In the new system, the units will be enabled to have a virtual PRS of the railways in the units itself, which will be enabled to issue tickets through a centralised portal operated by the CGDA office. For this purpose, the CGDA has entered into an agreement with the IRCTC. With this facility, the system of railway warrants which obliged Armed Forces personnel to go in for manual tickets at the PRS counter and involved a lot of paperwork, will gradually be replaced.

Over six million warrants are issued to the Armed Forces every year, involving worth over Rs 580 crore.

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