20 December,2010 06:43 AM IST | | Sanjeev Devasia
For all its computerisation and e-governing ambitions, the state government hasn*t yet figured a way out to let its senior citizens avail of the benefits of travelling in a digital era.
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) website does not allow for senior citizens to avail of any concession on e-tickets.
Officials say that there is no way of verifying the age and identity of the person applying for concessions online, as a result of which many fake identities end up getting discounts.
The only option senior citizens are left with is to buy a ticket online without any concession, or go to the booking counter.
"If senior citizens, who really need the services of online booking portals, are not provided the facility, then what is the point of running it?" asked an MSRTC official.
There are around 24 categories of bookings where the MSRTC is supposed to provide discounts, including tickets for senior citizens and student passes.
But the authority*s portal, since it became operational in January 2010, offers no such options.
Moreover, the time and ticket details provided on the website have not been updated for the last two years.
"The information about timetable and ticket rates on the website is wrong. It hasn*t been updated for a long time.
The passenger is perplexed as the rates charged are different from the ones on the website," said another official.
The other side
MSRTC General Manager (Traffic), V Ratnaparkhi, said "The online booking for senior citizens is not functional because there is no way to check the veracity of the concession claims they make online.
Sometimes, the claimant*s card is found to be fake. We are working over a solution and will make the needful changes."