Several reports of the IRCTC website crashing came to fore soon after the bookings for trains opened this afternoon at 4 pm. However, the Ministry of Railways took to Twitter to clarify that the site has not crashed and that data is being uploaded. It urged users to wait for sometime for the site to return to normalcy.
The IRCTC website crashed due to heavy online traffic as passengers waiting for over a month and a half immediately started logging in to book for the 15 pairs of the Special trains to be operational in the first phase of lockdown ease.
Just when the IRCTC was supposed to start functioning after an unprecedented hold on train movement in the country due to the pandemic, users started facing difficulty in booking reservations or even logging in.
The Railway Ministry instantly issued a statement and said: "Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website. Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted."
As users faced glitches many took to Twitter and slammed the railways.
Sumit Kashyap, who tried booking tickets but failed, tweeted, "Saw media reports last night that trains would start from 12th... But I tried booking tickets at IRCTC official App, they aren't allowing train booking.... How to book tickets then?"
Another Twitter user Raviteja YS, said: "Its been 15 Mins post 4 p.m. Not yet Opened Web itself. Waiting to Open #IRCTC. Irctc server might have crashed due to heavy web traffic."
Railways announced 15 pairs of Special Air Conditioned trains
On Sunday, the Indian Railways announced that 15 pairs of Special Air Conditioned trains will depart from New Delhi to several parts of the country. It also said that the tickets for these trains can be bought from the IRCTC website and no tickets will be sold on any stations or ticket counters.
The railways has suspended the passenger, mail and express train services on March 25 amid the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24.
Since then railways has been running the freight and special parcel trains to ensure the supply of essential items. The railways have started to run Shramik Special trains from May 1 onwards to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists.