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Commuters queue up for paper tickets as fire disrupts ER server

KOLKATA: Commuters faced delay as they queued up on Monday at the ticket counters in various Eastern Railway (ER) stations for purchasing paper tickets. The computerised ticket booking in eastern India for train travel was disrupted after power was disconnected at the Railways' New Koilaghat building owing to the fire at the Chief Signal and Telecommunications (Construction) department of ER.

The reservation for long distance trains that was jeopardized soon after the outbreak of the fire was restored only after 12 noon. "I had to travel for some work to Howrah. There was a usual queue at the ticket counter but it was taking longer. When I reached up to the counter and asked for a ticket for travelling as well as return, the booking clerk said only tickets for onward journey can be issued. I was handed over a paper ticket that reminded me of my college days," Ramesh Pal said at Baidyabati station.

Many other passengers travelling in local trains under the ER were handed over paper tickets. "I wanted a ticket for onward as well as return journey from Sealdah station to avoid the serpentine queue at Sealdah during the return journey in the evening. But, I was given a paper ticket only for onward journey," said college student Rai Kar at Nangi station in Budge Budge section.

"A cable associated with the computerised server for railway reservation runs through the Koilaghat building that has been damaged due to the fire. So reservation tickets could not be issued from Monday night. Things have started normalizing after 12 noon," a senior official of Eastern Railway said.

The official, however, reiterated that an online reservation ticket was available from the morning itself. Booking of unreserved tickets, through UTS counters, is also going on, he added.

"Online ticket booking for trains under Kolkata passenger reservation system (PRS), which was affected due to fire in New Koilaghat Building, resumed early morning today," ER spokesman Kamal Deo Das said. Counter ticket booking at all places has resumed except Kolkata and adjacent areas that are directly connected with the communication network of the building. The same will be restored after the resumption of power supply, he added.

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