Today I am sharing one rare experience with all of you. It is a very pleasing experience for a change. With a simple combination of technology and human efficiency we can have a functioning system even in a government enterprise. It was very urgent to book Tickets for Ma Parameswaranji using Tatkal facility. The irctc somehow gets jammed up at 8 am. Hence decided to go personally to the railway station for reservations. It was after many years that this opportunity had presented itself. Ready to push the way in when the door open at 8 AM I reached the reservation complex in Thiruvananthpuram Central Railway Station at about 7:45 AM. A pleasant surprise was in waiting. The main gates were open and after climbing the stair I found that around 100 persons were already waiting in the waiting hall. But there was no mayhem usually scene. No need to scout for the smallest queue. All were very calmly seating in chairs and waiting for the counters to start the business of the day. After few enquiries I was directed to the waiting Token machine. Pressing a red button I received a token numbered 103. It had the date and time. The token issuing had started at 7:30. Looking at the token number I felt the cause was lost and I may not get the desired lower birth when my turn came.
The system was simple. 10 counters had small monitors for display of token no. But you need not be worried where your no will come. There was a big screen in the centre of the hall displaying a chart showing the table of counter numbers with the token number being attended to. The next three numbers were also alerted. The system was efficient and working. When the counters started working the clerks were also as efficient as the machines. The main factor being there was no queue in front of them, no quarrels, and no bickering only one customer to attend to. They were smiling and attending very efficiently and the whole service was fast.
I was totally awestruck and mesmerized by the whole working and more so when within 10 minutes my number was on the screen and the mission was accomplished within few seconds. It was a day full of pleasant surprises I got the lower birth ticket for Parameswaranji even being 103 in the waiting list.
On the whole the experience was an eye-opener. Yes with just a little systematic management of technology and human efficiency can do wonder. Yes this can happen in Bharat. Even the government systems can work. They are working at least here in the reservation centre at Thiruvananthapuram Central.