A Mumbai Monorail passes through a residential area in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai February 3, 2014.
A Mumbai Monorail passes through a residential area in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai February 3, 2014.Reuters

The Indian Railways is set to roll out paperless mobile ticketing system in luxury trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi, as a part of its efforts to trim down the usage of paper.

On a pilot basis, the railways department has already introduced the paperless ticketing system in unreserved category in Egmore and Tambram suburban section in Chennai.

"Our aim is to extend the paperless ticketing system in both reserved and unreserved segment in phases. While the system is at present operational in a suburban section in Chennai, we will cover all suburban services soon and then it will be extended to reserved segment also," Railway Board Member (Traffic) Ajay Shukla told The Financial Express.

Shukla said that paperless mobile ticketing facility will be first implemented in fast passenger train services such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

The paperless ticketing will be carried out through a mobile application developed by Railways' software arm, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).

The reason behind the introduction of paperless ticketing first in premier trains is that the Railways expect all passengers in such trains as having mobile phones, he said.

Prior to introduction of paperless system in the reserved ticketing segment, the refund rules will be "rationalised" to ensure smooth transfer of money to passengers in case of ticket cancellations, Shukla said.

Currently, the Indian Railways use nearly 600 tonnes paper annually to print tickets and prepare reservation charts. The Railways can make carbon credit if paper usage for printing tickets is reduced to zero.

The department is also expected to roll out multi-lingual portals for reservation of tickets.

"Currently, it is in English and Hindi and we want the portals to be in all regional languages," he said.