You might have come across during any train trip, the altercation between the Ticket Checking staff and Passenger over printout of the Railway tickets booked through Online Reservation facility.
As per the regulations of Railways until now relating to online reservation made through Internet, a printout of online reservation details which is generated after e-tickets are booked has to be carried by the passenger along with identification documents prescribed.
Failure to carry this printout containing railway reservation details will result in payment of fine to the tune of Rs.50.
Now, Railway department has issued an instruction in its website (irctc.co.in) that there is no necessity to carry printout (paper copy) of e-ticket reservation details. It is enough if we carry our mobile contains a screen-shot (photo) of e-ticket details that is generated in the web page after we book our e-tickets.
This screen-shot can easily be taken using our mobile phone. After booking of tickets online just take a snap of the computer screen which shows the e-ticket details generated by the system (the details which you have to take a paper printout until now) using your mobile phone or any other camera.
This image contained in your mobile phone can be shown to the ticket checker during your journey along with your photo identification documents such as ration card, PAN card, identification card issued by Government etc.
The railway website says this relaxation is given considering that our country can save 3 lakh paper per day as this much quantity of paper of is issued daily for taking printout of e-tickets by passengers every day in India. This is really a welcome change.
The following is the text of this latest change as available in the Railways website
Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS) – The printout in standard specified Performa containing reservation particulars, and instructions for use which can be used by the passenger along with the relevant authorized Identification, as travel authority for performing the journey. Virtual Reservation Message (VRM) – A screen-shot of the e-ticket displayed through laptops/palm tops/ Mobile phone is referred as Virtual Reservation Message (VRM). ERS/VRM along with any one of the eight prescribed ID proofs in original and the indication of the passenger(s)' name(s) in the Reservation Chart will authorize the passenger to travel. VRM combined with valid photo-id in original will be treated as an instrument on par with the ERS. ERS/VRM along with one of the eight prescribed proofs of identity in original will also authorize the passenger to enter the platform on the day of journey and he/she will not be required to purchase platform ticket. ERS/VRM along with original id proof will be required to be produced on demand of Ticket Checking Staff on the platform.