If you want to book a railway ticket online through the Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, you may soon have to provide your Aadhaar card number to get a reservation.

Currently, the linking of Aadhaar and PAN to the IRCTC account is optional. The suggestion to link Aadhaar to the IRCTC user ID came after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Central Railway arrested a tout in Oshiwara, who used illegal software to reserve tickets on multiple outstation trains.

Officials from the Delhi headquarters for Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) had arrived in the city to interrogate the tout and to rectify the loopholes in the IRCTC website.

Other suggestions that have been made by railway officials and have been sent to the Railway Board include verification of the user ID through mobile number. This will then be verified by mobile companies.

Inspection of the IP address while buying tickets was another suggestion.

“Study on allowing booking of only two tickets on one IP address is also being done. This would also help in preventing touts who book multiple tickets at the same time. However, companies wishing to book more than two tickets for their employees will have to register with either IRCTC or CRIS,” said a CRIS official.

According to a railway official, the tout had sold the illegal software to nearly 5,000 agents across India. “The accused has knowledge about the working of the IRCTC website as he had been operating his business for six years,” said a railway official


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