The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has set 2016-end as its target to launch Aadhaar-linked ticketing services to increase transparency in bookings. The corporation aims to introduce the facility in phases, and senior citizens will be the first beneficiaries of concessional fares under the system. IRCTC has already started linking its database with Aadhaar data, The New Indian Express reported.

Authorities have been mulling over incorporating the Aadhaar feature into railway ticketing services since 2013. The move has now received the final approval from the Prime Minister’s Office. Concession fares will be available in 53 categories, including for students and freedom fighters.

IRCTC Chairperson and Managing Director AK Manocha said, “We have started the process to issue Aadhaar-based ticketing, and it's likely to be rolled out by December this year. People will now have to provide their Aadhaar numbers when registering with IRCTC. This will check fraudulent booking by touts.” IRCTC has also adopted the use of captchas and one-time password sent to registered mobile numbers to curb bulk ticket bookings.

The new service also aims to boost its travel insurance service, which is currently restricted to online ticketing. Passengers are entitled to Rs 10 lakh travel insurance at a premium of 92 paise in case of death and serious injuries, officials said. Manocha said, “The reason we have not covered unreserved category yet is that we don’t have the data on the commuters travelling in unreserved coaches. Aadhaar will make this possible. It will also reduced the insurance premium to 10-50 paise per journey.” He added that about 27 lakh passengers have availed of travel insurance since the feature was launched on September 1.