Thousands of people tried to buy train tickets online yesterday, the first day of advance ticket sale for Eid, clogging up the servers.
Failing to buy tickets online, many of them rushed to the city’s railway stations which saw long queues of ticket-seekers from early morning.
Bangladesh Railway decided to sell 50 percent of the total Eid season tickets online through app, SMS and railway website to ease people’s sufferings at ticket counters. Last year, 25 percent tickets were sold online.
But a large number of people complained that they could not buy tickets using the Rail Sheba app or the website.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission got involved in the issue after receiving a complaint of possible corruption in the online ticketing process.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said it would be their failure if the Computer Network Systems (CNS) could not provide ticketing services to the people properly.
Talking to journalists at Kamalapur Railway Station, he said the BR would sell tickets at counters from May 27 if any ticket remained unsold.
However, CNS Limited, which provides online services to passengers on behalf of the railway, claimed there was no technical glitch in their system.
Although hundreds of people went to ticket counters, some tickets remained unsold, a railway official said. Some people complained that they did not get AC coach tickets even after waiting for hours.
Besides, many people welcomed the authority’s decision to sell advance tickets from five different places in Dhaka.
The BR yesterday sold tickets for May 31. Tickets for intercity-train trips to the country’s northwestern districts was sold from Kamalapur from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Many of the ticket-seekers came to the station after failing to buy ticket online.
Shahin Alam, a private university student, said he tried to buy tickets using the Rail Sheba app after Sehri early yesterday, but he was asked to try after 9:00am.
“I could not log on to the server [of the app] after trying for more than two hours from 8:30am. So, I came here at 11:00am,” he told The Daily Star around 1:30pm.
Sajid Ali, a private service holder, shared almost a similar experience. “If people can’t log on to the server, what is the use of selling tickets online?”
Meanwhile, an ACC team led by its Assistant Director Md Alamgir visited Kamalapur.
ACC Deputy Assistant Director Monirul Islam, a member of the team, said they received a complaint that the BR authority had deducted money through the app, but did not issue any ticket to a ticket-seeker.
He said the CNS official posted at the station could not give satisfactory answers to their questions. The team would submit a report soon, he added.