LUDHIANA: The railway authorities have started the SMS alert facility for the convenience of passengers to get Passenger Name Record (PNR) status before travelling in the trains. According to information, passengers can send an SMS to railway enquiry number 139 and know the status of their tickets. Earlier, they used to call at the enquiry number for the same, which usually remained busy. It is worth mentioning that the authorities had forwarded a proposal to the railway board around a month back for its approval, so that they could launch the service to facilitate the general passengers. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will take care of the service. Sources said passengers have to type PNR and the PNR number and send it to 139. And, they will get the status of their tickets within a few minutes. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a railway employee, said, "Passengers had always been demanding to provide them an alternative for the enquiry of their seats because it becomes difficult to get any information through a phone call." He further said passengers were a harried lot after the railway authorities wrapped up their local enquiry number 131, which somehow was proving helpful to the local passengers. "The authorities hope that the new service will definitely bring reform in the system and bring respite to the commuters," he added. Discussing the issue, Naveen Malhotra, a commuter, said, "We can get our PNR status from the website as well, but the service will prove beneficial when one cannot access the internet." Meanwhile, giving information about the new enquiry system, Satish Chander, divisional railway manager (DRM), said, "It was the long-pending demand of commuters that the authorities provide an alternative for the railway enquiry system. so they had recommended railway board to allow them to initiate the SMS alert system at 139 and railway board provided them the approval. He informed that it has been around 15 days that the service has become functional and now passengers need not to wait for their calls to be received because the SMS service would prove more beneficial to them.