New Delhi, August 11: To curb malpractices of touting activities, ticketless passengers, misuse of facilities of e-ticketing etc., a special drive was launched by all Zonal Railways during summer period from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017 to conduct checks in mass contact areas. During the drive, 307 touts, 59115 unauthorized vendors and 7 illegal ticketing agencies have been prosecuted and have fetched an amount of Rs 1.18 crore (approx) for Indian Railways.
The Indian Railways has kept surveillance on the possible activities of touts and unauthorized vendors through Close Circuit Television Cameras installed at important Railway Stations. Touts and unauthorized vendors are apprehended and prosecuted as per provision of Section 143 & 144 of the Railways Act, 1989. Illegal users of online e-ticketing are also prosecuted under the provision of Section 143 of Railways Act, 1989.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha stated some of the steps taken to make public aware of streamlining the f reservation system and making it more transparent. They are as under:
- Educating general public through Public Address System and media, not to buy ticket from touts/unscrupulous elements and consequences of buying ticket from these sources.
- Restriction on agents on booking of tickets during first thirty minutes of opening of Advance Reservation Period (ARP) booking and Tatkal booking.
- Imparting information relating to availability of current status of reservation and condition of carrying of original proof of identity during journey by any one of the passengers booked on the ticket, so as to check transfer of ticket.
- Introduction of a time check of 35 seconds for completion of online booking of tickets to avoid misuse through use of scripting software.
- Making One Time Password (OTP) mandatory for payment of tickets booked online.
- Making provision in the PRS system to transfer vacant available accommodation after preparation of second reservation chart to next charting station.
- The introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) known as VIKALP for providing confirmed accommodation to the willing waitlisted passengers in other Trains of same route thereby ensuring optimal utilization of available accommodation.
- Conducting checks in booking offices, reservation offices, trains etc. to curb malpractices by Railway staff in connivance with touts. Deployment of RPF staff at important Passenger Reservation System (PRS) Centres to prevent touting activities.
- Provision of CCTVs at important PRS locations and only one booking in one user login session except for return/onward journey between 0800 and 1200 hours.
Moreover, the other steps include provision of CAPTCHA in the booking page of e-ticket/i-ticket on the IRCTC website to check use of scripting tools by unscrupulous elements for cornering of tickets. Other steps include automatic preparation of reservation charts at least 4 hours before scheduled departure of train and thereafter booking of available accommodation through internet as well as through computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters. The other initiatives that can curb the malpractices include intensification of checks during peak rush and festival periods.