New Delhi, Mar 2: The Railways is set to turn Aadhaar card mandatory for booking tickets on IRCTC. The use of UID number is currently optional for booking tickets with concessions. For senior citizens, the use of Aadhaar card for subsidised tickets would turn compulsory from April 1.

The use of Aadhaar card would prevent the menace of bulk booking carried out by touts and unethical travel agents. “Aadhaar number will be required for one-time registration at the IRCTC ticketing site. The step is aimed at eliminating touts from registering with fake identities,” a senior Railway official was quoted as saying by PTI.

Apart from making Aadhaar mandatory, Railways also announced the launch of a new integrated mobile application which would be unveiled in May 2017. Currently, multiple apps are offered by Railways to download, which serve purposes including e-catering, online ticket booking and checking train timings, PNR status, etc. The integrated app would will cover almost the entire gamut of travelling.

It would help passengers book reserved and unreserved tickets, including season tickets, as well as buy platform tickets. There will be a common registration and payment account for all types of ticketing.

The mobile application would also enable the booking of unreserved tickets at all non-sub-urban stations, which would reduce queues at ticket counters. The series of steps being implemented by the Railways are in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India.

To boost cashless transactions,  Railways would be installing 6,000 point-of-sale machines and 1,000 automatic ticket vending machines across the country, Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

(With inputs from PTI)